Jacques Roëttiers (1707-1784), called Roëttiers de la Tour, belonged to a family of French metalsmiths and coin engravers of Flemish origin. Van Loo has depicted him holding a medallion and one of the tools of his craft.
Jacques' father, Norbert Roëttiers (1766-1727), a native of Antwerp, traveled to France as part of James II's entourage following the Revolution of 1688. The deposed king's son, James Francis Edward Stuart, the Old Pretender, was named Jacques' godfather. After Jacques' period of apprenticeship with Thomas Germain, he traveled briefly to England in 1731, but returned to France where he was received as a Master in the Paris guild. He married the daughter of Nicolas Besnier, whom he succeeded in 1737 as orfèvre du roi, goldsmith to the king.
Jacques created a number of fine examples of Rococo silver, including the Berkeley service of 1735-38 (Niarchos collection, Paris). In 1752 he collaborated with Germain on a Royal service, and during this period his style changed in accordance with contemporary taste, from the more flamboyant Rococo to the more restrained Neoclassical. Toward the end of his career he frequently worked with his son and successor, Jacques Nicolas (b. 1736).