Portrait of the comte de Tréville
Oil on canvas
This dashing and nobly outfitted gentleman is Jean-Arnaud de Peyrer, comte de Tréville (1598–1672), captain of the esteemed Mousquetaires de la Garde, or royal musketeers—charged with protecting the king. Tréville inspired a swashbuckling character of the same name in Alexandre Dumas’s famous novel The Three Musketeers (1844). Embroiled in a failed plot to overthrow Richelieu in 1642, Tréville was briefly sent into exile by Louis XIII. Within a year, however, both Richelieu and the king were dead. The portrait, signed and dated 1644, was created a year after Anne of Austria rewarded Tréville for his loyalty by making him a count. No longer a musketeer, he does not carry the distinguishing musket. This ambitious painting, with its meticulous brushwork and mastery of elaborate textures—lace, leather, metal—marks at least one of the brothers as among the finest portraitists of the mid-seventeenth century.
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