Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley


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In about 1797, Belley's portrait was painted by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (1767–1824), a former pupil of Jacques-Louis David, and was exhibited in Paris in 1798. In this painting, Girodet evokes the tensions of the period. Belley, standing, wears the uniform of a Convention member, with a tropical landscape behind him, and has a stylish relaxed pose, as favoured in many French political portraits of Revolutionary politicians. His elbow rests on a bust of the philosopher Guillaume-Thomas Raynal (1713–1796), author of A Philosophical and Political History of the Settlements and Trade of the Europeans in the East and West Indies (1770). Raynal, who had just died, had been a supporter of the abolition of slavery.

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