Portrait of Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Choudard (called Desforges)
François André Vincent ( French, 1746 - 1816 )
This portrait of the playwright Desforges communicates the writer’s moment of creative genius through his informal, slightly disheveled clothing and his upturned gaze, burning with the intensity of artistic inspiration. The carefully described pleats of Desforges’s white linen shirt help frame him against the subdued background. The plainness of his dress reflects the rejection of the decadent French fashions popular before the Revolution of 1789 and is complemented by Vincent’s highly polished and illusionistic manner of painting.