A Fine & Large c.1840 Naïve School Portrait of a Lady

Origin: English
Period: Early Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1835-45
Canvas Height: 36 inches
Canvas Width: 28 inches

The three-foot naive school portrait of a lady, depicted three quarter length and painted in oils on canvas, unframed, survives from the second quarter of the nineteenth century.

The picture is in good overall condition and does not suffer from any major losses showing an even amount of craquelure to its surface. There are a few very minor areas of flaked loss and she has had a light clean whilst there is one L-shaped line to the top left half of the picture. She has been relined on a new stretcher and the painting is apparently unsigned.

The work has a well conjured, and rather regal, balance between wanting to communicate beauty to the viewer but to also to convey a sense of bullish power and authority, with the face of the sitter stern and fearless, her dress dark and somewhat simple, whilst her hair is tied with silk ribbons and adorned by colourful array of posies and she wears an emerald brooch and, two gold rings, one a gold band, obviously married, and the other in gold set with a further emerald. She sits on a ruby red velvet upholstered spoon back salon chair, which lifts and illuminates her from the dark background. In one hand she pulls at her the folds in her skirt, and in her other she holds a scarlet red rose most likely added to signify a life lacking sin and purity. Whoever this lady was she was clearly more important than the average street urchin and it was important to her to have this documented.

A striking and vivid depiction in an imposing size and pleasing style, giving us a painting that possesses serious decorative clout.

* We have a contemporary frame for this picture which can be supplied if so desired