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Jean-Etienne Liotard

24 October 2015 — 31 January 2016

This exhibition is now closed

See upcoming exhibitions

“His cosmopolitan network of clients acts as a visual diary of the Age of Enlightenment at its most glamorous and exotic"

The Financial Times


"Witty and theatrical portraits of a neglected master"

The Times

Jean-Etienne Liotard was an artist in great demand across Enlightenment Europe and beyond. An eccentric and distinctive portraitist, his work conjures up the magnificence and cultural curiosity of the age in vividly lifelike detail.

Born at the beginning of the 18th century, this idiosyncratic Swiss artist was one of the most accomplished portraitists of his day. He travelled widely – from London to the Orient – applying his unflinching powers of observation to create beautifully crafted portraits, the majority in his signature pastels on parchment.

At the peak of his powers, Liotard was commissioned to paint portraits of members of the British, French and Austrian royal families. A master of self-publicity, he was known as ‘the Turk’ — so-called for his adoption of Oriental costume following an extended voyage to the Near East, where he painted expatriate residents as well as scenes of everyday life in the Ottoman Empire.

This is the first retrospective exhibition in the UK to be devoted to Liotard, bringing together over 70 rarely-seen works. Covering the artist’s time in Paris, Vienna, Geneva, Constantinople and London – where he exhibited work at the Royal Academy – this exhibition is a long-overdue celebration of an exceptional artist.

24 October 2015 — 31 January 2016

Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

£11.50 (without donation £10). £17.60 (without donation £16). Concessions available. Friends of the RA and under 16s go free when with a fee-paying adult.

The Sackler Wing, Burlington House