24 October 2015 – 31 January 2016
Shown in Edinburgh earlier this year, this is Britain's first comprehensive show of work by this accomplished 18th-century artist.
Liotard painted with such intense realism that his contemporary Horace Walpole wrote that 'truth prevailed in all his works'. A brilliant portraitist, adept at the delicate art of pastel, he also drew, painted in oil, created enamels and was a refined miniaturist and printmaker.
But Liotard was not just an artist; he was also a collector, dealer, traveller and innovator who wrote his own treatise on painting. His long and successful career was helped, in part, by his abilities as a self-publicist. Inspired by the four years he spent living in Constantinople, Liotard cultivated an 'eastern' image by wearing exotic dress and growing a long beard.
Quickly recognised as one of Europe's most sophisticated artists, his reputation earned him an invite to the courts of Vienna, Paris and London, where he portrayed the families of Empress Maria Theresa, King Louis XV and Augusta, Princess of Wales, in remarkable style.
Drawing on works covering the breadth of his career, this exhibition explores themes of travel, orientalism, court art, fashion and technical experimentation.
Liotard painted a number of important British patrons, including members of the Royal family and the actor David Garrick whose portraits are shown here. Further highlights include a selection of Liotard's self-portraits and the still life subjects he produced in his late career.