A Fine Pair of c.1860 Anglo-Chinese Naïve School Portraits


Origin: Anglo-Chinese
Period: Mid Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1855-70
Canvas Heights: 23 inches
Canvas Widths: 17.25 inches
The Wholes: 27.75 X 22.25 inches

The well-sized provincial Anglo-Chinese school depictions of a gentleman and his wife, shown full length and painted in oils on canvas in the original ebonised shaped and carved frames in the Chinese manner with gilt slips survive from the third quarter of the nineteenth century.

Both pictures are in good condition and do not suffer from any losses. They both show even amounts of craquelure to their surfaces and remain un-cleaned. The paintings are apparently unsigned though there is an fairly recent Christies auction house label to one of the backs. The Chinese frames have some scuffing and one has a small section of loss to the mouldings.

The artworks show a middle aged bearded gentleman in a dark suit, his hand casually resting on a ruby red upholstered and carved balloon back dining chair, helping to date the picture, and a draped curtain to the pictures top corner giving the impression of a reveal. The lady, of the same age, has a position that mirrors that of her husband, though it is flipped vertically, and as such her hand is also resting on a chair, though this time a carved hall chair in the Chinese taste. She wears a dark blouse and teal dress and is also painted with a draped curtain, with both subjects having serious, placid expressions. The distinctive, and rather fun, oriental woolen carpet in the pictures is most certainly Chinese.

The dramatic mood, awkward style, and strong colour palette of these provincial naïve oils creates a much-desired and very distinctive aesthetic.