HANDS DOWN: Nicolas de Largillière

NICOLAS DE LARGILLIÈRE (French, 1656-1746)

Hand gestures function as kind of a shorthand in 18th-century French portraiture. They are summary indicators of the subject’s station, qualities and character, which are set forth in full in the expository longhand of costume, facial features and setting.

These details taken from portraits by Nicolas de Largillière (French, 1656-1746).

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