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  • Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Colbert

    Artist:
    Mignard, Pierre. 1612-1695
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    69х56 cm (oval)

Mignard, Pierre. 1612-1695

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Colbert

France, 17th century

Title:

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Colbert

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

69х56 cm (oval)

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1822; acquired from the collection of Korsakov in Petersburg

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-561

Comment:

Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619–1683), controller general of finance under King Louis XIV of France, was an outstanding French statesman. He is represented wearing the Order of the Holy Spirit which he was awarded in 1666. When the portrait was acquired by the Hermitage, it was considered to be the work of Philippe de Champaigne. V.K. Hertz [1956] attributed the painting to Mignard after comparing it with François Poilly’s print, where the winged old man - the allegory of time – hands Colbert’s portrait to the allegorical figure of Glory. The portrait can be dated around 1677–1682. The oval portrait of Colbert by Mignard is mentioned in the inventory of the Stanisław August Poniatowski collection. It was brought along with the other paintings to St.Petersburg and sold at an auction after the king’s death, the size of this portrait being the same as the one displayed in the Hermitage. According to V.M. Belkovskaya [2012], the portrait was purchased by A.S. Stroganov. However, Heinrich Christoph von Reimers [1805] saw it in the collection of A.I. Korsakov, after whose death Colbert’s portrait was acquired for the Hermitage. It is possible that this information refers to one and the same portrait which passed from Stroganov to Korsakov. Comments by Natalia Serebryannaya

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