Maurice Quentin de La Tour

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Maurice Quentin de La Tour, self-portrait from 1751

Maurice Quentin de La Tour , also Delatour , (born September 5, 1704 in Saint-Quentin , † February 17, 1788 ibid) was a pastel portrait painter of the French Rococo .

Famous are u. a. his portraits of King Louis XV. , Madame de Pompadour , Isabelle de Charrière , Voltaire , Jean-Jacques Rousseau and D'Alembert .

Louis XV painted in 1748 by Quentin de La Tour


Thanks to the stay of the Italian painter Rosalba Carriera in Paris in 1720/1721, pastel painting regained great popularity. De La Tour first studied from 1719 for three years at a small Paris academy before he went into business for himself. He got to know the painters Louis Boullogne and Jean Restout , with Restout in particular exerting a great influence on him. In 1735, a portrait of Voltaire earned him general recognition. As a result, he painted various portraits of Louis XV. and his family and became one of the most popular court painters alongside Jean-Marc Nattier . Soon he was known as the Prince des pastellistes , "Prince of the Pastel Painter". In 1750 he was appointed advisor at the Royal Academy of Art . From 1750 to 1773 he was also court painter to the French king. Joseph Vivien is considered the most important forerunner of La Tours .

His students included Joseph Boze (1745–1826), Jacques Neilson (1714–1788), the Scot Katherine Rad (1723–1779) and, above all, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749–1803).


His paintings are located in the Louvre (Madame Pompadour) and in the Musée Antoine Lécuyer in Saint-Quentin, which has the most important collection of his pastels.

Later honors

French 50 franc banknote from 1978 in honor of the portraitist Maurice Quentin de La Tour


  • Xavier Salmon: Maurice Quentin de La Tour. Le voleur d'âmes . Éditions Artlys, Versailles 2004, ISBN 2-85495-226-X .
  • Xavier Salmon, Christine Debrie: Maurice Quentin de La Tour. Prince of the pastellist . Somogy, Paris 2000, ISBN 2-85056-431-1 .
  • Christine Debrie: Maurice Quentin de La Tour. Paintings of portraits in pastel. 1704-1788 . Ed .: Musée Antoine Lécuyer de Saint-Quentin. Édition de l'Albaron, Thonon-les-Bains 1991, ISBN 2-908528-13-4 .

Web links

Commons : Maurice Quentin de La Tour  - collection of images, videos and audio files