"André Lébré (1629-1700) Portrait Of Paul De Gautier, Capitoul 1693 Toulouse"André LÉBRÉ (Toulouse v. 1629-1700)
Portrait of Paul de Gautier, Capitoul in 1693
Oil on canvas,
H. 108 cm; L. 89 cm
Provenance: Castle near Montauban by family descendants.
André Lébré, a discrete painter of the history of Toulouse was noted during the three years of his contract with the Capitol. He replaced Jean de Troy at his death in 1691, and left the post in the year 1694 because of illness which would prevent him from continuing the exercise of his trade. In addition to the portraits of all the capitols of 1692 and 1693, he produced dozens of religious paintings for the churches of the city. Master in his art, he has an Italian touch that characterizes his paintings.
The arrival of Antoine Rivalz in 1700, returning him from an apprenticeship in Italy will plunge into forgetting the short career of Lebré. Highlighted by the Musée des Augustins of Toulouse during the end of the 20th century, of which he has five works, André Lébré is a painter who was waiting for a rediscovery. Unpublished, this portrait of Paul de Gautier was recently found in a house of descendants near Montauban. His identity was hitherto ignored and an attribution to the erroneous Jean de Troy painter dated it earlier than it really is.
The identification was made thanks to the coat of arms, being those of the family of Gautier, native of Castres. Only Capitoul of the family, Paul de Gautier, dated 1693 was afterwards Advisor to the King, Receiver General and Payer of the Gages of Messieurs the Officers of the Parliament of Toulouse. This family, originally from Castres, subsequently provided numerous officers and magistrates to the region whose alliances with other major local families marked the rise of society. This portrait has the peculiarity of not having the austere side of the classic parliamentary portrait. Besides the top of his Capitoul livery with red epaulettes and scarf, his ocher outfit with embroidered sleeves which the painter gives us a perfect realism, remains a rarity in the representation of these great men of the Pink City.