Circle of Jean de TROY (1638-1691)
Portrait of Jean-Roger de Foix, known as Marquis de Foix
Oil on canvas
Presented within fine carved gilt wood Louis XIV frame (139 x 118 cm [54-2/3 x 46-1/3 in.])
The painting overall is in good condition and presented with a few wear and re-paintings due to wear. Was given to M. , the best in France. He opted to lightly reduce some of the old varnish and employ an in-painting dot procedure on the surface. The painting was perfectly smooth in its current condition, rather than risk it with a complete removal of the varnish entailing unpredictable results for a work of this era.
The frame was simply cleaned, revealing a bright gilding with superb crackling which according to a Parisian specialist dates the re-gilding process from the 18th century, otherwise not 19th century.
Collection, Southwestern France
The identification of this fine portrait is not doubted. The golden coat of arms with three pales at gules leads to the de Foix Family. Aside some relatives of the de Foix-Saverdun branch during the early reign of Louis XIV, the Marquis Jean-Roger de Foix, second in name, caught our attention, in preference to his cousins.
An anonymous and undated engraving - in the Louis Philippe albums in the Versailles Chateau collections - depicts a person that corresponds to our portrait, but as a medallion and in bust, wearing armor. The wig slightly differs. His name is engraved around the medallion: "JEAN ROGER DE FOIX MARQUIS DE FOIX GOV EN LA PROV DE FOIX...." A handwritten indication completes the engraving: " Jean-Roger de Foix dit le marquis de Foix, baron de la Gardiole, capitaine des Cent Suisses de Philippe de France, Monsieur... vers 1660" (Jean-Roger de Foix known as the Marquis de Foix, Baron of Gardiole, captain of the Hundred Swiss Guard under Philippe deFrance, Monsieur ... circa 1660).
Various sources, including Moreri’s historical dictionary, provide information about Jean-Roger de Foix, but unfortunately few dates. Viscount of Rabat, the Gardiole and Canté, Jean-Roger served in Catalonia and was made governor of Foix commune in 1671. He married three times, first with Catherine Bertier, daughter and granddaughter of Presidents of Toulouse Parliament and Anne de Murviel, a native of Languedoc. Children from these early marriages had no posterity. Then he married Anne Hinderson, lady in waiting for Elizabeth Charlotte of Bavaria (the famous Palatinate), wife of Philippe de France known as Monsieur, brother of King Louis XIV. Moreri dates this wedding in 1677. Due to this union, Jean-Roger de Foix was made an honorary knight of Madame. It is known via engravings and by other authors that our marquis was also captain of the Monsieur’s Hundred Swiss, an undeniable, very prestigious assignment because Philippe d'Orléans, known for his lavish lifestyle, was the second person in the Court. Perhaps a research of the Palatinate correspondence will provide further information.
Jean-Roger de Foix had no children with his last wife, and the children from his earlier marriages had no descendants. His son Roger would have taken his role in Orléans, but he does not match the era in our portrait. Only Jean-Roger II was governor of the province of Foix.
The 1660 date indicated on the engraving was probably added during the 18th or 19th century. Since Foix was already presented as governor, the engraving cannot be earlier than 1671. It cannot be him at a much later date, because the brown wig, thin mustache, even the age of the model, seem to correspond to a fashion from the first half of the Louis XIV’s reign.
Our painting is obviously a court portrait influenced by Roman and Bolognese portraits, but also evokes Pierre Mignard. The posture of the model, the image’s composition, the pictorial level, strangely tapered fingers invite one to compare with the portrait of Jean-Louis de Fontanilles, realized in Toulouse in 1674 by Jean de Troy (1638-1691). The older brother of Jean-François de Troy was educated in his father’s studio, Antoine de Troy, but likey completed his training in a Paris studio, and then he traveled to Italy where he became familiar with Bolognese painting. Established in Languedoc as a capitouls painter, he was replaced by Jean-Pierre Rivalz. He had split his career between Toulouse and Montpellier. Much of his work is found in portraits of Languedoc personalities, however mostly lost.
We propose a dating from the 1670s, while the Marquis de Foix was still young. If we accept the hypothesis of an attribution to Jean de Troy, the portrait might even have been done in the home province of the Marquis (hence the canvas has never left since) and display his accession to the post of governor. This assumption could coincide with the realization of a ceremonial framework with asymmetrical floral decorations modeled with virtuosity in the mass pointing and the workmanship is typical of southern France. In this case, the effigy would date from before the Marquis’s ascent to the Court, due to his acceptance within Monsieur’s circle, but is contemporary of the engraving.
Condition report :
Provenance : Collection, Southwestern France
- Items quantity: 1
- Height in cm : 108 cm
- Width in cm : 89 cm
- Frame height in cm : 139 cm
- Frame width in cm : 118 cm
- Expertissim Reference: 2015060606
- Specialities :