Jean de La Fontaine - 17th Century French Portrait Oil Painting


A fine 17th century portrait oil on canvas depicting the important French poet and fabulist Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695). The painting was in the collection of a prominent English stately home for well over 100 years. In the 1901 catalogue of the collection the art historian Jean Paul Richter lists the painting as being in the manner of Sir Godfrey Kneller but I believe it is far more likely to be the work of eminent French painter François de Troy (1645-1730).


As with all of the original antique oil paintings we sell it is offered in excellent condition, having just been professionally cleaned, restored and re-varnished. Clients should also note that tracked and signed for international shipping is complimentary.


On the stretcher, the sitter is named as being the French philosopher Voltaire, but my opinion that is not Voltaire has been confirmed by Catriona Seth, Professor of Modern languages at Oxford University.


Another painting of de La Fontaine exists that has been attributed to François de Troy but it is inferior in quality to the work being sold here.


Dimensions: (framed) 80cm x 67cm (31½” x 26½”)

Dimensions: (canvas only) 62½cm x 49½cm (24½” x 19½”)

Medium: Oil on canvas.

Provenance: In the private collection of the Drury-Lowe family, Locko Park, Derbyshire. Listed as no.183, manner of Godfrey Kneller, in Jean Paul Richter\\’s 1901 catalogue of the estate\\’s picture collection.

Presentation: Newly commissioned bespoke gold metal leaf frame. All of the new frames we commission are especially made for us to order by one of the UK’s top period frame makers.

Condition: Excellent. Newly professionally cleaned, restored and re-varnished. Ready to hang.


Subject Pictures

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