Superb portrait miniature, "Incroyables et Merveilleuses" - the slightly smug face of a spoiled rich fashionable Parisian making political statement. An exquisite but unsigned French portrait miniature, handsome young man with powdered hair, dog-ears fashion which along with the massive cravat and huge lapel jacket, sets him squarely into the "Incroyables", c.1795-1799. this blue-eyed young man who wears an elaborate white cravat with his double-breasted coat has large pearl set buttons. He might well have been one of the wealthy students 2 generations later at the 1832 student uprising, Paris, barricade of a real-life Les Miserables, but in fact he dates 40 years earlier. The portrait is, I am certain, late 1700s, and this young group dressed as their protest, were Royalists - he is an aristocrat in support of Royalty overthrown and beheaded in The Terror. 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. He's somewhere between 1795 to 1799 when the fashion exuberance faded.
Very good to excellent throughout, the painting is beautifully crafted, definitely a noted artist but unsigned. Housed perfectly beneath the original convex cover glass, these paintings are usually found in an 18k fronted frame, often locket-like. The painting here is smaller than the frame to which it is relegated, and I think perhaps the period frame might not be its original for that reason. The miniature is only 1 5/8" diameter in frame. That face is just 1/2" from chin to hairline, yet look at the confidence, perhaps even defiance, in his visage. A superb museum quality miniature. Convex glass is original, and no damage to it nor the painting. I see nothing to report as flaw apart from a bit of age to the wood frame.