Family Portrait in a Landscape
Gonzales Coques developed a portrait style that combined the intimacy of a small-scale painting with the grandeur of court portraiture. Here, this family displays their wealth by posing in a garden setting decorated with ornamental features taken from the artist’s repertoire of stock accessories. The black groom leading a horse does not necessarily represent an actual person, but would have been perceived at the time as an “exotic” status symbol. Artists regularly inserted African youths into portraits even when their sitters did not retain black servants in their households.