Portrait of a gentleman, half-length, in a burgundy coat, embroidered waistcoat and a white chemise leaning on a table oil on canvas 91.8 x 71.2cm (36 1/8 x 28 1/16in).
PROVENANCE Sale, Christie's, London, 16 March 1984, lot 73 (sold for £1,500). Sale, Sotheby's, London, 14 November 1990, lot 41 (sold for £4,800).
Jean-Baptiste van Loo, born at Aix-en-Provence, was taught by his father, Louis-Abraham van Loo. Early on he worked in a number of cities in France and Italy decorating churches and public buildings. While in Turin he painted portraits of Charles Emmanuel II, Duke of Savoy and several members of his court. In 1737, van Loo arrived in England, where his portraits of the playwright and poet, Colley Cibber, and the Irish entrepreneur and patron of the arts, Owen McSwiny, attracted much attention. He painted portraits of Sir Robert Walpole and the Prince and Princess of Wales. However, his sojourn in England was short-lived, his failing health causing him to return to France in 1742.