A Very Large c.1830 Gilt Framed English Provincial School Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Gentleman

Origin: Unknown
Period: Early/Mid Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1830-40
Canvas: 36 inches x 28 inches
The Whole in Frame: 40.75 inches x 49 inches x 5 inches

The large and well realised three-quarter depiction of a young and dashing gentleman in oils on canvas, clad in period dress holding a staff, presented in a wonderful gilt gesso frame survives from the first half of the nineteenth century.

The picture and frame are both in undeniably decorative, literally left untouched for at least 180 years, there is a commensurate amount of craquelure across the canvas and the frame, which is the best frame we’ve come across yet, and is a full five inches deep, has losses (of which many have been kept and could be re-applied). The picture is very dirty and if cleaned would become something entirely different, but it is in this condition that we simply love, its faded grandeur is matched by the original frame, the entire composition talks to you, or rather screams, of English country estates. The patination is simply wonderful to both elements. There are a few inscriptions to the reverse, one being ‘over WC dor (sic)’ – that must have been one hell of a WC door.

The level of skill seen in the painting is pretty high, the young gentleman, probably in his thirties or early forties, is depicted with a hint of a smile, having long sideburns, with dark buttoned woollen overcoat, white collar and cravat, and on close inspection, the sitter is holding a staff, giving the impression that here we have someone who was of high birth and liked to be considered so. The whites of his eyes are still apparent and are rendered well, as is the flesh to the face, which is rather round and full.

This picture would have hung in a very large and prominent country house, its proportions and quality speak for themselves and it would have been hugely expensive to create at the time of its commission.

Grand and glorious; faded gentility at its very very best.