A Good 18thC French School Oval Oil on Canvas Laid to Board Portrait of a Young Gentleman c.1780

Origin: French
Period: Louis XV
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1780
The Canvas: 20.5” high x 16” wide
The Whole: 23.5” high x 19.5” wide

The half-length portrait in oval form of a dashing young French gentleman having long hair, and looking directly out to the viewer, painted in oils on canvas laid down to board, the sitter shown in a black over garment with a white collared under garment with a golden silk tassel, the work presented in a stained oak frame, and surviving from the latter part of Louis XV period France.

The picture remains in nice original condition with no over-painting or restoration and a good deal of craquelure and paint fleck loss to the surface; with marks and scratches to some areas; please refer to the photographs for a visual reference. There are no marks verso and we cannot seen a signature that is visible though it hasn’t been inspected outside of the frame.

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. The portraits took pride of place in the home, or were given to others as gifts.

We always love finding ovals or tondo portraits and this is a beauty.