The Honourable Antoine Juchereau Duchesnay, seigneur of Beauport, c. 1782-1784
oil on canvas, mounted on wood-pulp board
59.4 x 50.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 38248)
This portrait is the oldest painting in the Gallery's Canadian collection. It shows Antoine Juchereau Duchesnay sporting a simple wig and dressed in a green wool coat with large ornate buttons. Beneath this garment, his wears an elegant waistcoat embroidered with plant motifs, which opens to reveal the jabot of a lace-trimmed shirt. A cravat tied in a bow at his throat completes the ensemble. The seigneur de Beauport's penetrating gaze seems to engage the viewer directly, endowing the figure with considerable presence. In this portrait - lavishly painted in the rococo style and executed in Quebec City shortly after his return from Paris - the artist was clearly concerned to represent the social status of his aristocratic model, then at the height of his prestige.