Portrait de Jacques de Heusy

The King Baudouin Foundation purchased this Portrait de Jacques de Heusy in 2003. An eminent man from Liege, de Heusy embodies the episcopal principality’s history and its complex relations with France and Austria.

Jacques de Heusy is one of the important figures who stamped his mark on the history of the Principality of Liege. After studying legal science in Reims, he embarked upon a career as a specialist in questions relating to finance and economics and this explains how he ended up as a diplomat in the service of two bishop-princes. Dispatched by the Bishop Prince Charles-Nicolas d’Oultremont to the court of Louis XV in Versailles, Jacques de Heusy helped defend the territorial and commercial interests of the Principality of Liege. In 1767, the Principality signed a preliminary agreement with France that was reinforced by the Treaty of Limit, ratified in 1772.

This portrait was probably made during Sir Jacques de Heusy’s diplomatic mission in France. Louis-Michel van Loo immortalized Jacques de Heusy sitting at his work table with a map of the frontier between France and the Principality before him. The documents on the table refer to the territorial negotiations of 1767. Behind him is a white magistrate’s baton referring to his function as mayor. The date of 1760 and the de Heusy coat of arms also appear. Bookshelves bursting with diplomatic treaties can be seen in the background.

The artist Louis-Michel van Loo (1707-1775) was a painter at the Spanish and French courts and famous for his official portraits and his unmatched talent in the rendering of materials. Such qualities are evident in this portrait and particularly in the details of the fabrics.

Website Musée d’Ansembourg

Further information about the Heritage Fund (in French)

Type: 
Painting
Material / technique: 
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 
136 x 104 cms
Type of acquisition: 
Heritage Fund Acquisition
Year of acquisition: 
2003
Depository institution: 
Musée d’Ansembourg, Liege