One of my favorite Antique French oil paintings, a portrait of a handsome dignified gentleman, a 1/2 pose in an interior which includes books. Well dressed and with a very large diamond cravat pin visible, he also holds a snuff box. The epitome of luxury, the artist has conveyed not only his likeness but also his station in life. The artist's signature is there, Begins with a B, is just impossible for me to make out. The artist has dated the work, however, "1819", and that and the period in history tells us more about him. "Restauration" era, France, when Napoleon has been defeated and deposed and France is again under Royal rule. French King Louis XVIII has reigned since 1814, and most exiled Royalists have repatriated to lead and enjoy France. Jacques-Louis DAVID (1748-1825), a most favored artist to Napoleon, has trained artists and that influence is plainly visible in this fine portrait. "School of David", visible. I feel certain if one could make out the signature, it's a listed artist of some importance in his time. A large and very well-stretched linen canvas which remains in fine condition for age, it is 29" x 23 1/2".
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. Quite remarkable, really. While there are 2 very small push ding to upper right quadrant (visible in our photos for your review), and a tiny area with touch-up low by his hands, there are no holes nor rips in the old canvas. Viewed from backside, you see no patches evidencing early restorations. Very nicely stretched on the very old (200 years plus) wood stretcher frame, you also see a faint impression of the company which stretched the prepared canvas for the artist. Hints which may make it easier to research, should you be so inclined. I've shown the painting both lighted from above, and without lighting. The face is beautifully detailed, the background with books and hints of interior with lesser detail but clear implication - perhaps he is a lawyer or scholar, as well as a wealthy Royalist. Unframed, one can see a couple of very faint evidences that it was once framed. With so little loss or damage to it, we are assured it has only recently been taken down from wherever it's hung for a couple of centuries. Found in France, anonymous estate.