Flemish, French 1640–1707
François de Troy (after)
Charles Mouton c. 1692
Colin Holden Charitable Trust
As a performer, teacher and composer for the lute, Charles Mouton was a fixture of musical salons in Paris and one of few lutenists who enjoyed a level of notoriety in the late 17th century. Mouton’s compositions, which are still performed today, feature serious and somber tonal effects—a quality which is mirrored this print’s blackened background and in turn, allows the face and hands to assume clear focal points in this composition.
Edelinck’s modification of de Troy’s original portrait is visible in the remodelling of Mouton’s once attentive expression into the rakish smile seen here: a detail suggestive of his effortless musical virtuosity and charismatic allure.