V RARE portrait miniature, "Incroyables et Merveilleuses" - (incredibles and marvelous) the slightly smug face of a spoiled rich fashionable Parisian making political statement. An exquisite but unsigned French portrait miniature, outlandish fashion green and black striped coat, powdered hair or topper wig, dog-ears fashion which along with the massive cravat and jaunty ruffled vest, sets him squarely into the "Incroyables", c.1795-1799. this brown-eyed young man who wears an elaborate white cravat with ruffled bib, (thick-wrapped cravat - reminder of the neck wounds of the guillotined Royals). He might well have been one of the wealthy students at the 1832 student uprising, Paris, barricade of a real-life Les Miserables, but in fact he dates earlier. The portrait is, I am certain, c.1795-99, instead, mean he is an aristocrat in support of Royalty overthrown and beheaded in The Terror. "Mods" in their time. A fashion celebrating excess, riches, these young people scandalized Paris in the days after the execution of Robespierre. The history is wonderful and must be read. The fat cravat is a typical sign of support and memorial to those aristocrats who were overthrown in the French Revolution, late 1700s. So he's somewhere between 1795 to 1799 when the fashion exuberance faded. Do read about this short period in fashion. All the history is so interesting.
Very good to excellent throughout, the painting is beautifully crafted, definitely a noted artist but unsigned. Housed perfectly beneath the original convex cover glass (back one missing), the painting and a 12k gold frame (acid tested), and elevates the offering as such. Quite a unique closure on this one - see photos. The miniature is 1 3/4" x 1 1/2" in frame, wafer and gouache portrait, no artist's signature or ID. That face is just 5/8" from chin to his thick powdered hairline, yet look at the confidence, perhaps even defiance, in his visage. Could be considered fine jewelry, a pendant. A superb museum quality miniature and, true to his economic status, 12k gold. Convex glass is original, and no damage to it nor the painting. Note that the cover glass on backside is missing entirely.
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