Maurice Quentin de La Tour was a French Rococo portraitist who worked primarily with pastels. Among his most famous subjects were Voltaire, Rousseau, Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour. In 1737 La Tour exhibited the first of a splendid series of 150 portraits that served as one of the glories of the Paris Salon for the next 37 years. Endowing his sitters with a distinctive charm and intelligence, he excelled at capturing the delicacy of their features. In many of his self-portraits he depicts himself smiling.
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