Quentin De la Tour (Quentin De la Tour)

Quentin De la Tour

Artist.  A French Rococo portrait painter who worked primarily with pastels, he is remembered for his portraits of prominent French citizens of his era, including Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet), Jean-Jacques Rosseau, King Louis XV, and Madame de Pompadour (Jeanne Antoinette Poisson).  Born in Saint-Quentin, Aisne, Picardy, France, his father was a musician who objected to his pursuit of painting.  At age 15, he went to Paris, France where he studied with Flemish painter Jacques Spoede.  After traveling to Rheims, France and England for two years, he returned to Paris to resume his studies and began working with pastels.  In 1737 he exhibited the first of a splendid series of 150 portraits that served as one of the highlights of the Paris Salon for the next 37 years.  He endowing his sitters with a distinctive charm and intelligence, and excelled at capturing the delicacy of their features.  In 1746 he was received into the Académie de peinture et de sculpture at Paris and promoted to councilor four years later.  In 1750 he became portraitist to King Louis XV and held this position until 1773, when he suffered a nervous breakdown.  He went on to establish an art school and became a philanthropist before being confined to his home because of mental illness.  In 1784 he retired to his home at Saint-Quentin where he died at the age of 83. (bio by: William Bjornstad)


  • September, 05, 1704
  • France


  • February, 02, 1788
  • France


  • Basilique of Saint Quentin
  • Picardie
  • France

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