Armand Louis Le Boulanger, Marquis d'Acqueville
140.8 cm x 111.8 cm (55 7/16 in. x 44 in.)
(France, circa 1766 - after 1843)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clark W. Thompson, Sr., 1964
Dressed in a dark blue coat, bluish gray breeches, and a pale yellow waistcoat with poppy design, the Marquis D’Acqueville presents himself as a fashionable young aristocrat. The bust sculpture of a classical figure, the rolled-up musical score, and the quill pen in the inkwell suggest that he wished to be seen as a man of letters. The numbers “23 7 1791” on the letter in the sitter’s hand most likely indicate the date when the work was painted.
Aimée Duvivier was among the few women selected to show their work at official exhibitions organized by the French Academy in the late 1700s. Coming from a family of artists, she may have also studied with Jacques-Louis David. The flat, unadorned background, the subdued palette of blue and gray with just a dash of red, the casual pose, and the restrained handling of paint are characteristic of the neoclassical formula that David popularized during the period of the French Revolution.