A Good Pair of c.1880 Irish School Provincial Oil on Canvas Portraits of a Gentleman & His Wife

Origin: Irish
Period: Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870-90
Canvas Heights: 30 inches
Canvas Widths: 25 inches

The large unframed Irish school depictions of a gentleman and his wife, shown half-length and painted in oils on canvas, presumed husband and wife, survive from the middle to latter part of nineteenth century Ireland.

Both pictures are in fair to good condition and prove very decorative. They suffer from minor losses with larger sections of flaking to the lower flanks. They both show even amounts of craquelure to their surfaces and remain un-cleaned. The paintings are apparently unsigned.

The artworks both on dark grounds show a middle aged bearded gentleman in a dark suit, white shirt and bow tie, with gilt albert watch chain. His firm and steady gaze is serious but one can sense a humility, perhaps a hint of mischief, about his person. The lady, of the same age, wears a dark dress with turquoise ribbons and gilt necklace and matching earring. She is paler skinned, greener eyed and indeed more Irish looking than her husband but she shares the same steady gaze, though exuding more of a sense of meekness and submissiveness than her husband.

This Irish pair, we sense, were more impish than they cared to let on…