- Museum number
Oval portrait of Jean Baptiste Pouquelin ("Moliere"); half length, turned to right and looking at viewer full face, lace at neck.
Oil on canvas stretched over a wooden panel.
- Production date
- 1670-1685 (circa)
Height: 290 millimetres (Oval)
Width: 238 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- mlc/pcf Sept 2012 Jean Baptiste Pouquelin was born into a bourgeois French family but, when young, gave up a settled career for the theatre and is now known by his stage name of Molière. He became a distinguished playwright, still regarded as one of the greatest masters of comedy in western literature, whose works included Tartuffe, Le Misanthrope and Le Malade Imaginaire. This portrait of Moliere, listed in Sir Hans Sloane’s catalogue as “310 The Busto of Moliere”. It is not unlike the well-known portrait by Pierre Mignard (1612-95), painted c. 1658, now in the Musée Condé at Chantilly but is by no means identical.
In the List of Portraits .... (1842, 1879) it is noted that 'this painting has been transferred to the Print Room on account of its diminutive size'.
Listed in the 'Register of Oil Paintings etc in the BM' compiled by Edward Croft Murray (P&D Register cupboard) on p.98, with a note that it was cleaned by Dr. H.J. Plenderleith, 1934-5.
One of a group of five owned by Sloane (also including Corneille, St Teresa and two deleted items) for which no provenance is given. pendant to a painted bust-length portrait of P. Corneille, SLPictures.311.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1842 BM Eastern Zoological Gallery Print Room
2003 BM Enlightenment Gallery, Room 1, case 14 to present
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Entered in the Sloane inventory, 'Catalogue of Miscellanies: 'Pictures & Drawings' as: '310 The busto of Moliere (broke)'
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: Painting 38