In England, Rouquet successfully made use of his status as a foreigner to provide an outsider’s look on British art and was the author of several successful publications.

Jean André Rouquet was one of the most successful enamellists of the early eighteenth century. The son of Huguenot refugees, he was born in Geneva where he learned his trade as an enamellist. At some point during the 1720s the artist moved to London where he quickly established his position as one of the pre-eminent miniaturists of his day and where the present work was most likely completed.

Although he worked in England, Rouquet continued to maintain his links to the Continent, exhibiting in Paris in 1753, 1755, and 1757. Indeed, it was in the French capital that his professional standing was affirmed with his receipt, in 1755, from Louis XV, by whom he was asked to paint a portrait of his famed mistress, Madame du Pompadour. His star still in the ascendant, Rouquet was elected to the Academie Royale de Paris in the following year. Tragically, however, Rouquet’s fortunes were not to last. His wits assaulted by...

Read more

Jean André Rouquet was one of the most successful enamellists of the early eighteenth century. The son of Huguenot refugees, he was born in Geneva where he learned his trade as an enamellist. At some point during the 1720s the artist moved to London where he quickly established his position as one of the pre-eminent miniaturists of his day and where the present work was most likely completed.

Although he worked in England, Rouquet continued to maintain his links to the Continent, exhibiting in Paris in 1753, 1755, and 1757. Indeed, it was in the French capital that his professional standing was affirmed with his receipt, in 1755, from Louis XV, by whom he was asked to paint a portrait of his famed mistress, Madame du Pompadour. His star still in the ascendant, Rouquet was elected to the Academie Royale de Paris in the following year. Tragically, however, Rouquet’s fortunes were not to last. His wits assaulted by mental illness, he was incarcerated in an asylum, where he died in 1758.

Although he assimilated himself into the artistic scene in England, Rouquet successfully made use of his status as a foreigner to provide an outsider’s look on British art and was the author of several successful publications. Among these were the first attempts to explain and export the engravings of his friend, William Hogarth (whose enamel portrait by Rouquet is in the National Portrait Gallery, London) to an overseas audience. Whilst supportive of Hogarth, Rouquet maintained a critical distance from the arts of contemporary England, adopting the dispassionate yet highly observant stance of the outsider. This attitude was summarised in his highly successful 1755 Etat des Arts en Angleterre in which the artist by turns defended the English arts against the attacks of contemporary French commentators and lambasted the English themselves for their indifference to their rapidly developing artistic culture.

During his relatively short career, Rouquet was clearly successful – his enamels competing with those of his contemporary Christian Friedrich Zincke. Rouquet’s clientele came from the political and intellectual elite of England, his intelligent commentary perhaps attracting those patrons (for example, a portrait of British statesman William Pitt is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum). Making enamels was a highly labour-intensive practice and commissions were expensive compared to traditional portrait miniatures painted in watercolour on ivory or vellum.

Receive information about exhibitions, news & events.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.

Receive information about exhibitions, news & events.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.
Close

Basket

No items found
Close

Your saved list

This list allows you to enquire about a group of works.
No items found
Close
Mailing list signup

Get exclusive updates from Philip Mould Gallery

Close

Sign up for updates

Artwork enquiry

Receive newsletters

In order to respond to your enquiry, we will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.

Close
Search
Close
Close
500 Years of British Art