Portrait of a bearded Man with Turban
  • Jean-Baptiste Le Prince
  • Metz 1734 - 1781 St.-Denis-du-Port
  • Portrait of a bearded Man with Turban, ca. 1760
  • Red chalk on laid paper
  • 268 × 205 mm

After a comprehensive training under Fr. Boucher and J. M Vien, the young Le Prince began his career in 1757 in St. Petersburg, where he received commissions from the imperial court already in the year of his arrival. Le Prince first returned to Paris in 1763, with a large store of drawings to prompt his memory. He would make use of these in the following years for several series of prints about life and fashion in Russia, establishing through these popular works the so-called Goût des Russeries. In 1768, Le Prince published his “I.re Suitte de Cœffures, dessinées d’après nature” (First Suite of Headdresses, Drawn from Nature), which appeared in several editions along with a series of studies of clothes and traditional garb.

The red chalk drawing shown here can accordingly be dated to ca. 1760 in St. Petersburg and resembles the frontispiece of this suite (Fig.1), in which Le Prince depicted an older man with a lush full beard looking to the right. His striped turban has been wound around a fur cap, and its ends fall over his shoulders on either side.