A Mid-19thC English School Portrait of a Nude Gentleman

Origin: English
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860-70
Height: 12”
Width: 10”

The half-length portrait of a nude and bearded man with his arm held aloft, the whole on a moody earthy ground, painted in oils on canvas and remaining unframed and surviving from the latter half of the nineteenth century.

The picture remains in original though unrestored condition with no over-painting or restoration and a good deal of craquelure and some small paint fleck loss to the surface; with marks and dirt to the surface remaining uncleaned; please refer to the photographs for a visual reference.

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 beautifully balanced portrait.