As you can tell, I love portraits. My own home is packed with them, both large and imposing and small and intimate, and I never tire of looking at them. This one is hanging on my living room wall even now, so handsomely accomplished is the artist's work, and so captivating is the gentleman's direct engaging stare. Remember that photography did not begin until Daguerreotype process in 1838, and popular photography portraiture was even later. So early Victorian era still supplies us with wonderful portraits, mostly of wealthy and/or persons of position, titled, and many represented thus as the only image that might survive to remember them by. I always want the ID and the full life story, but of course that rarely is something we have with these. While they survive the centuries in fine form, they rarely survive with the information about the sitter, or about their life and position. One can surmise from this handsome young gentleman that he has both wealth (probably family wealth) and station in life. He takes the world on with a full uncompromising stare, confident and secure in his pose. The artist has not signed the work, sadly, but we can see both the skill and the artist's expression in the placement of the figure in the aperture. It has almost an Impressionist feel to the size and hue of the space, that big bland background balanced with a tiny bit of color, muted there in the form of a chair. Just the perfect angle to the face and perfectly lighted to show the features. A fabulous work of art! The frame conveys the stately authority of the painting, as well, and is perfect to house it.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The painting is done in oil on canvas, backed by a wood plaque, as you can see from backside mounting. No chips or cracks or warping, no loss to the oil painting, though you see the typical crazing of age Frame is excellent for age, without damage and with a nice warm patina to the old wood. We would date this painting c. 1840-60.
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