A Late 19thC French School Oil on Canvas of Two Putti, Dated to 1885

Origin: French
Period: 3rd Republic
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1885
Height: 33.5”
Width: 26”
Depth: 1”

The well-executed oils on canvas painting of two putti, probably part of a larger composition, the putti swathed in turquoise and silver robes, one facing dexter the other sinister, the whole with a nice feel of movement, signed in red lower right ‘(??) O Leviez 1885’; and surviving from late nineteenth century France.

The picture has six patched repairs which one can see also verso, there are some areas of flecked loss. Please refer to the photographs for a full visual reference.

The first section of the signature is worn and hard to read but with enough patience could probably be deciphered. The stamp to the reverse is for the colourmen of Henry Suce Paris who would have supplied the artist with the canvas and other materials.

Sometimes winged, but always chubby, depictions of putti have decorated paintings, objects and architecture since antiquity. During the Renaissance, putti personified human spirit and emotion, while later in the Baroque period these naked male babies came to represent the omnipresence of God and were often used in context with angels. By the 18th and 19th centuries, the popularisation of romantic images turned putti into a popular emblem of love. However, putti are neither cupids nor angels; they are secular figures, which allows them to get into quite a bit of mischief.

This picture is well painted and is most likely a fragment of a very large work. The artist clearly has talent with the rendering of the flesh and the movement to the robes both well realised.

The year of 1885 in France saw the Sino-French War ending as a treaty is signed, and the French abandoning Lạng Sơn.

A well realised picture that could be researched further and admired by all in the meantime.