A 19thC English School Oil on Canvas Laid to Board Portrait of a Gentleman c.1870

Origin: English
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870
The Work: 24” high x 20” wide
In Frame: 30.5” h x 26.5” w x 3” d

The shoulder length portrait of a handsome English gentleman, probably in his late thirties, sensitively executed, the sitter being clean shaven and looking out towards the viewer, painted in oils on canvas to a dark ground, the sitter shown in formal dress of a black blazer with a white collared under garment and cravat, the work presented in a thick and good quality moulded gilded frame, and surviving from the third quarter of nineteenth century Victorian England.

The picture remains in original though unrestored condition with no over-painting and some craquelure and paint fleck loss to the surface; with marks and dirt to the surface remaining uncleaned; with one area to lower center; please refer to the photographs for a visual reference. The good quality and chunky frame is of the same period but is associated and has some losses.

As with the ‘selfie’ today, portraits were also a chance for more self-conscious sitters to be depicted in the latest fashions. In the eighteenth century, the upper classes entered a new era of prosperity. No longer the preserve of royalty, commissioned portraits, of oneself or one’s ancestors, became a coveted symbol of wealth and status which continued even more so in the nineteenth century. The portraits took pride of place in the home, or were given to others as gifts.

A portrait that would probably be most striking hung on its own in isolation; a country house beauty.