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date: 15 September 2019

Gardelle, Robert, le jeunelocked

(b Geneva, April 6, 1682; d Geneva, March 7, 1766).
  • Anne Pastori Zumbach

Extract

(b Geneva, April 6, 1682; d Geneva, March 7, 1766).

Swiss painter and engraver. He was a member of a family of artists and jewellers in Geneva. At an early age he showed a pronounced talent for art, but as there was no school of drawing in Geneva, he moved to Germany. At Kassel, Baron von Mardefeld became his patron, sent him to Berlin and recommended him to important people at court. Gardelle is said to have painted the royal family; however, this was most probably simply a question of copying existing portraits. In 1711, on his return to Kassel, he painted from life a portrait of Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel. In 1712 he travelled to Paris, where he spent a year perfecting his art in the studio of Nicolas de Largillierre. It was there that he acquired the fluid and elegant style of the French Rococo. He returned to Switzerland for good in 1713 and became a portrait painter, painting both the great and the humble, not only in Geneva but also in Berne, Neuchâtel and the Vaud. He was a very prolific artist and often executed replicas of his paintings for himself. These paintings, often in a small format (usually 240×180 mm), are particularly remarkable for their brightness of colour and their close attention to likenesses (e.g. ...

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C. Brun: Schweizerisches Künstler-Lexikon/Dictionnaire des artistes suisses, 4 vols (Frauenfeld, 1905–17/R Nendeln, 1967)