Colas dans les Chasseurs
Watercolour, gouache and silver paint on vellum
COLAS / dans Les Chasseurs
Purchased from Motley Books, July 2021.
Miniature painting by Jean Louis de Faesch, depicting Jean Louis Laruette as Colas in 'Les Deux Chasseurs et la laitière', an opera with music by Enigio Duni and libretto by Louis Anseaume. Laruette originated the role at the opera's premiere at the Comédie Italienne in 1763.
This type of portrait of actors in character came into fashion in Paris during the 1720s, initially on enamel and ivory, and later on vellum. This fashion passed to England thanks to the relationship between the French actor Lekain and David Garrick. The success of these paintings led to a published edition in 1770 of 24 portraits, titled ‘Dramatic characters, or Different Portraits of the English Stage’. A French version was published around the same year: ‘Les Métamorphoses de Melpomene et de Thalie, ou caracteres dramatiques des Comédies Francaise et Italienne’.
This portrait appeared 17th in 'Les Métamorphoses...', along with the quotation "Je suis gelé et morfondu / J'ai le corps brisé, les os rompus." Which translates as " I am frozen and languishing, my body is broken and my bones are broken".