A Mid 19thC French School Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Gentleman c.1860

Origin: French
Period: 2nd Empire
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860
The Canvas: 24.25” high x 19.75” wide
In Frame: 34.5” high x 30.5” wide x 2.75” deep

The half-length portrait of a discerning middle-aged French gentleman having a goatee beard and moustache, and looking out towards the distance, painted in oils on canvas, the sitter shown in a thick black overcoat with a white collared under garment, the work presented in its original chunky ebonised hardwood moulded frame, and surviving from the third quarter of nineteenth century France in attic condition.

The picture remains in original though unrestored condition with no over-painting or restoration and a good deal of craquelure and paint fleck loss to the surface; with marks and dirt to the surface remaining uncleaned; please refer to the photographs for a visual reference. There are no marks verso aside from the canvas being stamped ’12 F’ and we cannot see a signature that is visible, though it hasn’t been inspected outside of the frame. The lower section of the heavy and well-made frame has loss, as per the photographs.

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.

An untouched well drawn portrait in a very substantial frame.