Alexander Roslin’s Portrait du Dauphin Louis de France (1729-1765) is a notable example of Rococo style portraiture. The artwork, dating back to 1765, features the son and heir of King Louis XV of France – Louis-Joseph-Xavier. Roslin based the portrait’s subject on one or two earlier portraits he had made from life. However, noticeably different from his previous works, this piece reflects the Dauphin’s weight loss due to tuberculosis.
Roslin was born in Malmö, Sweden but settled in Paris in 1752 where he created portraits of members of the French aristocracy showcasing sensitivity, taste, and psychological insight. Alongside his contemporaries such as François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Roslin helped shape the Rococo movement’s distinctive art style characterized by light-hearted subjects and pastel colors.
Portrait du Dauphin Louis de France (1729-1765) is a culturally significant artwork that reflects its time through its historical context firmly rooted in Rococo tradition.