"Portrait Of Bertrand d'Ayrolles - Circa 1770"
Portrait of Antoine-Bertrand d'Ayrolles (Marseille, 1736 - Batavia, 1779) represented next to a bookshelf. The gentleman portrayed is identified on the back on the stretcher.
Hailing from a family of fabric manufacturers from Carcassonne, Ayrolles devoted himself to maritime trade from an early age, where he made his fortune. Later, he became a lender and banker on Rue Françoise in Paris. Financier and friend of François Louis Marin (1721-1809), man of letters, editor-in-chief, journalist and royal censor, in 1768 d'Ayrolles declared himself author and editor-in-chief of the “Dictionnaire classique de géographie ancienne”, an anonymous work which he had bought the rights to in Avignon, as was later revealed. In 1773, he was involved in a trial for embezzlement and corruption with the famous writer Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-1799), playwright of The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro, among others. D'Ayrolles, romantically involved with one of the writer’s nieces, testified against the playwright and Caron was sentenced to a heavy fine. To get his revenge, Beaumarchais quoted him and ridiculed him in his famous judicial memoirs (1773-1774), a satire on the abuses of the judicial system of the time which had a considerable repercussion. D'Ayrolles returned to his native Provence and focussed entirely on maritime trade with the Dutch East Indies, dying penniless during one of his trips to Batavia (now Indonesia) in 1779.
This canvas, painted around 1770, will require professional restoration.
Artist: Unknown (unsigned).
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: To be restored.
Dimensions: 73 x 57 cm. / 28 ¾ x 22 ½ in.