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Post Lot Text
JEAN-LAURENT MOSNIER (FRENCH, 1743/1744-1808)
A young gentleman, seated on a green-upholstered chair, wearing a blue satin suit with white lining, frilled lace cravat, powdered hair, in an interior with a writing desk
signed and dated 'Mos[nier] 1779' (mid-right)
2¾ in. (68 mm.) diam., gilt-metal mount within rectangular moiré silk panel
The composition of the present miniature is extremely rare for this artist and it is believed to be the only one by Mosnier where a male sitter is depicted with both hands showing. Until now, all recorded miniatures of gentlemen by this artist have been bust-length (see P. Jean-Richard, Miniatures sur ivoire. Musée du Louvre. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, 1994, nos. 472 and 473, p. 263).
The present portrait showcases Mosnier's mastery at capturing sumptuous and expensive garments made from the finest silks and satins. According to L. R. Schidlof (The Miniature in Europe, Graz, 1964, II, p. 574), 'Mosnier was an original miniaturist. He painted very broadly and in a bold way in gouache, which he used even partly in the faces. In almost all his min. one finds glistening silks, which he rendered perfectly. Very characteristic is also his way of painting the hair in large uniform masses, which he covers in places with small strokes of very light gouache so as to make it lighter. Mosnier can be considered as one of the best French miniaturists of his period'.