A truly stunning painting, this woman's fashion puts her c.1795-1810, and her slash of red scarf or shawl tells us she was a French Royalist who lost someone to The Terror - the guillotine of the French Revolution. We see portraits of Nobility who lived through that time, often stern faces and always that red, a protest or symbol of the blood that ran from the shoulders of their Royals (Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette) and their own family or friends. Many of those members of Nobility of France fled for their lives and lived up to 20 years in exile, waiting for the Bourbon Dynasty (and their normal lives) to return. Another memento of mourning is pinned to her bodice - the gold mourning brooch with deep convex cover glass and, if we could see it, a plaiting of hair of some beloved lost person. You also see her long gold chain tucked into her waist and, if in view, she would have a quizzing scope attached to it - you see the loop at the end of the handle, in face, though the spectacle lenses are out of view. The French Revolution was a very violent and terrifying rise of populists in an orderly but class-polarized era of Kings and Queens. A large oil painting on linen canvas, this one hasn't a flaw to report and I see no evidence of any earlier restorations. She is still perfectly stretched and braced in the old stretcher frame, which I think is original. I am less certain about the huge and heavy wood frame being as old as the painting. One does not often find a black frame from this era in France, far more likely to find gold. I suspect the frame is a much later replacement, though it is also antique - more likely perhaps 100 years newer than the painting. Full measurements are noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. Superb painting which has held a position of honor and heritage, or has been very carefully stored for 2 centuries. The linen canvas is visible from back and shows no patching or repairs. It is a portrait of passionate loss, mourning and perhaps some resignation. Her plain but Noble face holds the stories of her life. The artist has not signed this painting, which seems curious as it is a superb work of art. The gold filet is complete and frames her gently against the rather harsh black or deepest rosewood look of the frame. As I think of it, it might well be rosewood - it is remarkably heavy. Please ask us if you wish to buy her without the frame simply for shipping concerns. I had her shipped from Paris, France after I found her. No ID nor history attended the painting. The frame is heavy wood, large and imposing and is also in very good condition without chips or cracks or major losses. The painting is located in San Diego County, California. Pick-up can be arranged.