Employing the same incredible talent for miniature paintings, portraits as many of my favorites in my collections, this artist has achieved paintings within the small painting, one of Napoleon's soldiers (above the mantel) and the other of a landscape with perhaps this same gentleman in his youth, out hunting with a dog. His hound lies faithfully at his chair and the man takes his simple meal, still with his boots on and his game pouch slung over his shoulder, a rifle leaning against the wall beyond him. On mantle, a copper carafe, a well-melted candle in holder, and a blue/white container filled to overflow with matches. What prompted me to acquire this one was not the old gentleman's face, nor the unusual grasp os his spoon, nor the dog. It was the 2 hanging paintings. I am certain the one of Napoleon's soldiers in battle is after a famous painting I've seen. It sent me on a search for that painting, and I'm still looking. SO many museums, SO many paintings! My attention has come back to this small painting on simple board, unframed, many times, and I have a sense of it being a portrait of this man's life - having been that young hunter in beautiful fields, and having been that young soldier at Napoleon's orders in battle. It feels like a signature there to bottom right, maybe just added in pencil, then wiped away. The little painting has never been framed, is mid-1800s. Is it a self-portrait of a life? I wonder. Found in France.
Very good to excellent condition, likely carried from mantel to shelf, to mantel through a century and a half. Some of the minute detail of an Ernest Meissonier, but also something a bit Manet about it - isn't there? Small, 9 1/4" x 7 1/4" and slightly under 1/4" in depth, the board is undamaged, no chips nor breaks, and is not warped at all. Age to the surface of the painting, but absolutely charming exactly as it is. I think this is one I will regret losing when it sells. If you recognize the battle scene, remember its original artist, please email me. Thanks.