Here we offer a husband and wife, c.1830-40, from the Louis-Philippe era of French history. The handsome gentleman of age and his lace-bonnetted wife are each so well depicted as icons of their age - finest French clothing of their era and the artist, Adele de Lahitte, has a marvelous talent for putting down the figures in such realism. From jewelry and pattern in the black silk gown the matron wears, to her bottle curls at sides of her face, her receding hairline at forehead and the hint of her moustache, the woman fairly comes alive on her smallish wafer. And the gentleman, her husband, with his dignified aire and his deep-set and haunting eyes, a 6-o-clock shadow to rival his wife's - they're marvelous portraits. I'm always fascinated that such detail can be brought to bear in such a small 'canvas'. The paintings are well preserved and still reside under original cover glass in their original frames. A matched pair, we just can't bear to separate them this far into history. We do not, however, know who they were, what social significance their lives eventuated, nor do we know much about this artist. We have seen her signature on portrait miniatures of other upper crust Europeans, however, and know she must have had an active trade. Rarely do we have "listed" portrait miniaturists.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. The framed miniatures are larger than most, as you can see in our final image of one shown in a grouping of more familiar objects. This offering is for both the gentleman and his charming wife, 2 portraits, matching frames and each in lovely preservation without cracks or chips to the wafer. Painted in gouache on thin wafer, typical of 1830s portraiture. Photos show them well, but they're finer, still. A photo will wash out some of the finest detail. These are marvelous in person. My scanner is not working or I'd have scanned the paintings for you. Will try to add when fixed.
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