Hyacinthe Rigaud - Portrait of the Surgeon Alexandre Passerat - image-1

Lot 2079 Dα

Hyacinthe Rigaud - Portrait of the Surgeon Alexandre Passerat

Auction 1231 - overview Cologne
18.11.2023, 11:00 - Old Masters and 19th Century, Part I
Estimate: 25.000 € - 35.000 €
Result: 44.100 € (incl. premium)

Hyacinthe Rigaud

Portrait of the Surgeon Alexandre Passerat

Oil on canvas (edges relined). 116.5 x 86.5 cm.

Inscribed on the back of the canvas: “Portrait de M Passerat”

The present portrait of Alexandre Passerat by Hyazinthe Rigaud was discovered only a few years ago and published online by Stéphan Perreau in 2017 as an addendum to his catalogue raisonné that was printed four years previously (loc. cit.). Ariane James-Sarazin, whose two-volume catalogue raisonné was published in 2014, also viewed the present portrait in person and confirmed it to be a work by Rigaud (Tajan auction catalogue, December 18th, 2019).

An old inscription on the back of the canvas names the sitter in our portrait, the Parisian surgeon Alexandre Passerat, who died in 1702. The book, which he leafs through with an elegant gesture, shows illustrations of a skull and a bone, a reference to his professional activity. Passerat is said to have treated, among others, the composer Jean-Baptiste Lully after he stabbed his ceremonial staff into his foot while drumming the beat and subsequently died of blood poisoning despite our sitter's best efforts. Madame de Sévigné, the famous writer of letters, referred to the surgeon as "le beau Passerat" ("the beautiful Passerat") in a correspondence from June 1683.


Private collection, Barcelona. - Auction Tajan, Paris, 18.12.2019, lot 20.


Stéphan Perreau: Le chirurgien Passerat par Hyacinthe Rigaud : un nouvel opus inédit. Online under: https://hyacinthe-rigaud.over-blog.com/2017/07/le-chirurgien-passerat-par-hyacinthe-rigaud-un-nouvel-opus-inedit.html. - Stéphan Perreau: Hyacinthe Rigaud: Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre, Nr. P.sup.3. Online under: https://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.com/catalogue-raisonne-hyacinthe-rigaud/portraits/1724-passerat-alexandre