I'm torn - yes, over selling this one, but really over whether he's late 18th century or early 19th century. However, let me tell you the story of his portrait. In France 200 or more years ago, it was customary for a baby to have long unshorn hair, and to wear a bit of a unisex gathered gown people often mistake as indication it is a girl. The way you would know a boy from girl (up until 4-5 years old) was that a boy's long hair would part at the side and a girl's long hair would be parted in the middle. They remained their mammon's (mother's) child. Once securely potty trained and around 4-5 years of age, the hair of a little boy would be ceremoniously shorn and his gown replaced by pants and jacket, "He's in his britches" would be the old English way to talk of this proud moment when he becomes his father's son and takes a decidedly different path that all those whose hair was parted in the middle. This sweet portrait is very likely the memento of that transitional time, and surely treasured forever by the mama he leaves behind on his way to being a man. Isn't it just fabulous! A personal favorite of mine, his shy downcast blue eyes, his cropped hair. The painting is in gouache on thin natural wafer, typical of the genre. It does not have a signature by artist, but just look at what a superb little work of art remains. Full measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition, saved for us for over 200 years in it's original oval frame and beneath original convex cover glass. The painting is superb in condition, no flaws to note. I see one small flaw of time to note, and that is the tiny speckles in the 200+ year old convex cover glass. Sometimes old glass does that, and it is not dirt or dust, but slight irregularities in the glass. You won't much notice it with naked eye, but a digital camera catches anything that disturbs or catches light, so you can see it on our photos with glass in place. This one is not bad. I've had early portraits with glass so bad you can barely see the perfect painting beneath, in which case the only thing to do is replace the cover glass. But this is not that bad, and it's better for future value to have the original convex cover glass.