– The portrait of Jean-Antoine Lullin is for sale!
The Geneva Auction will offer this heritage object at its May session. The painting was painted in 1705 by Hyacinthe Rigaud, the artist for Louis XIV.
The portrait is a tall oval, measuring 81 by 64 centimeters. A fashionable format at the time. In its vintage gilt frame, it now finds itself a bit lost in the next series of sales at Genève Enchères, taking place May 2-5, with possible viewings on April 29, 30 and May 1. The effigy made in 1705 by Hyacinthe Rigaud and his Parisian workshop will be auctioned on May 4 at 6:30 p.m., lot 163. This is how a work that is heritage to say the least will go to God knows where. He is undoubtedly (although other family identifications have previously been proposed) Jean-Antoine Lullin (1666-1709). The age of 39 suits this man well in this ceremonial effigy.
The richest Genevan of his time
Jean-Antoine Lullin, who had belonged to a powerful family in Geneva since the 14th century, was of course an heir. But he always knew how to make his fortune prosper in silk, gold and later in banking. He was thus one of the financiers who, although Protestant, lent Louis XIV enormous sums without too many scruples, collected in a short time. The French bank then remained embryonic. These speculations, of course, presented colossal risks, with the neighboring country then on the brink of a military abyss. Jean-Antoine thus took a memorable “cupesse” in 1708, shortly before his untimely death in Lyon. But this only put a dent in the fortune of the largest (by far!) taxpayer in the Republic of Geneva. The construction of his residence was thus able to continue in the current rue de la Cité. Man, however, never saw this hotel finished, as it was only in 1712. This is the current “Maison de Saussure”, designed as an apartment building. The Lullins occupied the ground floor and the garden. Your tenants the floors.
It is not surprising that this powerful character wanted to be represented by the portrait painter of the Sun King. Rigaud was born in Perpignan in 1659. His career lasted almost until his death in 1743. We still have his book of reasons, that is, his accounts. Thus we know that Lullin posed in 1705 for an original invoiced at 140 pounds. According to the use of time, the model ordered two replicas for a total price of 150 pounds. The current canvas offered is one of these copies, where the work of the studio has been embellished with brushstrokes by the master. It has been studied by Ariane James Sarazin, who wrote her thesis on Rigaud, defended in 2003. She is currently publishing the catalog raisonné of his work, which will have 2,300 pages spread over ten volumes. The scientist was also co-curator last year (along with Dominique Brême) of Rigaud’s retrospective in Perpignan, which few people admired given the circumstances.
Of course, Genève Enchères does not indicate the name of the seller. The painting comes, according to the established formula, from “a patrician family of Geneva”. However, searching the internet, I discovered that a portrait of Jean-Antoine de Rigaud was once in the Maison de Saussure. Times are tough today for the family estate, whose descendants are losing interest. Of course, a municipal institution in Geneva would have to do something. The estimate remains between 20,000 and 30,000 francs. A little. It should be noted that the Geneva Library owes the most precious of its collections to Jean-Antoine’s son, Ami Lullin. There is also the Center d’iconographie genevoise. Not to mention the Museum of Art and History. But I’m definitely not going to get involved now. So I didn’t tell you anything.
Geneva Auctions, upcoming public auctions May 2-5. Visits on April 29 and 30, plus May 1 from 12 to 7 p.m. Such. 022 710 04 04, website www.geneve-encheres.ch The catalog has been online for a few days. Paper catalog is also available.
Born in 1948, étienne dumont He did studies in Geneva that were of little use to him. Latin, Greek, correct. An unsuccessful lawyer, he branched out into journalism. Most often in the cultural sections, he worked from March 1974 to May 2013 at the “Tribune de Genève”, starting out talking about cinema. Then came the fine arts and books. Other than that, as you can see, nothing to report.
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