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Les Portraits de MM. de Béthune jouant avec un chien (Portraits of Marquis Béthune’s Children Playing with a Dog)

François-Hubert Drouais


Drouais was the first in a prominent, multigenerational family of artists who specialized in portraits of the French nobility, foreign aristocrats, writers, and other artists. This painting perfectly characterizes both his work and the playful, lighthearted temperament of the Rococo period. The boys are Armand Louis II (b. 1756) and Armand Louis Jean (b. 1757), sons of Armand Louis I de Béthune. Members of the aristocracy enjoyed dressing their children up in costumes, which Drouais captured in a number of portraits. Here the artist luxuriates in the details of the boys’ elaborate attire: sumptuous velvet suits with slashed sleeves, silk ribbons, and lace collars and cuffs. The pug, being taught by the children to play the guitar, adds to the charm of this signed and dated painting.

  • Titles Les Portraits de MM. de Béthune jouant avec un chien (Portraits of Marquis Béthune’s Children Playing with a Dog) (Proper)
  • Artist François-Hubert Drouais, French, 1727 - 1775
  • Medium oil on canvas
  • Dimensions 38 1/4 x 51 1/4 in. (97.2 x 130.2 cm) frame: 49 5/8 × 62 3/8 × 4 1/8 in. (126 × 158.4 × 10.5 cm)
  • Credit Line Eugenia Woodward Hitt Collection, 1991.254
  • Work Type painting
  • Classification Paintings
  • On View