Alexandre ROSLIN (Malmö, 1718 - Paris, 1793) Portrait of Anne Marie Renée Leroux, 1787 Canvas signed and dated lower left: "The Chev. Roslin, / 1787". Mark of the wrapper on the back: A.Berville, rue de La Chaussée d'Antin. On the back several old labels identifying the model as: "Anne Marie Renée Leroux de Broons, wife of Henry Pierre Gouïn". Height. 74, Width. 60 cm. (old restorations). Provenance: descent of the model, private collection, Poitiers. Portrait on canvas of Anne Marie Renée Le Roux by Alexandre Roslin in 1787. Remained in the model's descendants. Alexandre Roslin is one of the most prominent Swedish artists in Paris in the 18th century. Born in Malmö, he received his first training in Stockholm with Georg Engelhard Schröder, a portrait painter and history painter who worked at court. The pupil quickly surpassed the master and left to try his luck abroad. In 1745, appointed court painter to Margrave Frederick of Brandenburg-Culmbach, he began a seven-year journey to Paris. After three years in Germany, he obtained a scholarship and went on his "Grand Tour" to Italy. It was probably in Rome that he met the Marquis de Marigny, and when Roslin arrived in Paris in the spring of 1752, he was awaited there by the daughters of Louis XV. The protection of his compatriot and collector Count Ticino also facilitated his debut and his reception at the Royal Academy in 1753 with the portraits of the painters Colin de Vermont and Jeaurat. From then on he exhibited regularly at the Salon, affirming his virtuosity in rendering the truth of models, whom he staged in their most beautiful finery and with objects that evoked their activities. On January 8, 1759, his union with Suzanne Giroust reinforced his integration into the world of painting and opened the doors of the bourgeoisie to him: a pastelist and portraitist who was admitted to the Academy in 1770, she was the daughter of a wealthy merchant and jeweller. On March 22, 1772, Roslin obtained the privilege of being granted the apartment that Louis Tocqué occupied in the Louvre. A few months later his wife died and he, who had not left Paris since his marriage, took a leave of absence to return to Sweden. He did not stay there and after a stay in St. Petersburg, where he painted no less than seventy-five portraits, including that of Catherine II (1776), he returned to Paris via Warsaw and Vienna. He exhibited again in Paris in 1779 where he presented portraits of the King's two brothers and his sister. When he painted Anne Marie Leroux, Roslin stopped travelling around Europe. He never left the Parisian scene and the French court where he maintained his reputation. He affirmed his success by adding the title of "Chevalier" to his name and opted for a more restricted palette of colours and monochrome backgrounds. Preserved from the revolutionary turmoil, he died in his home in the Louvre on 5 July 1793, one month before the closure of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Born into a family of financiers and silky Tourangeaux, who in the 17th century gave France a treasurer and a mayor in Tours, Anne Marie Renée Leroux left the family castle of La Plaine à Fondettes to marry in May 1757 the merchant Henri Pierre Goüin (1732-1782), who was at the head of the "Maison Gouïn", the oldest trading and banking house in the city of Tours. His widow Anne Marie took over the management of the trading house with her sons until 1786. She posed for Alexandre Roslin the following year, with a fashion accessory that was a must at the time: a fan whose frame showed, without ostentation, its richness. She died in 1808, counting among her descendants bankers, mayor of Tours or collectors and patrons, including the founder of the Archaeological Society of Touraine.
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