The sitter is dressed as an échevin, or Alderman of the Paris City Council, and the painting once formed part of a lost group portrait painted by the artist in 1656–1657 to commemorate the two-year term of Alexandre de Sève as prévôt des marchands, or Mayor of Paris. In the group portrait De Sève was shown with the Council members of 1655–1656. The sitter in The Wallace Collection’s painting is probably Jean Rousseau, second échevin in the Council. A second fragment, showing the échevin who stood to the right of our sitter, is in the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio. The group portrait was probably cut up during the French Revolution and the pieces dispersed.
Where to see this painting?
The Wallace Collection
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