The wonderful hand painted portrait miniatures we all love posed a problem. It took a very long time to produce them. If you didn't like the one you commissioned, well then it wasn't such a simple matter as taking several additional shots to find the one that showed you off to your best advantage. As we can now. Of course, to get from there to here, where we are now in the portrait making department, there was a process with midway points along the way. Mathieu Deroche devised a method, way too complicated for me to describe adequately, but that involved moving a photographic image onto a copper plate and then painting it. The problem with photographs was they were unavailable in color. So a variety of coloring techniques developed. Deroche placed photographs on ceramic or copper blanks and then hand painted and fired them; thus creating fine portraits of enduring quality. Derouche's combination of ingenious technique and artistic talent, with flair, resulted in prestige and popularity for the portrait master. He placed his finer pieces in competitions, which frequently won prizes and awards. The portrait here is among his finer work. It won the grand prize at the Exposition International in Paris, 1900. As you can see, after 100 years the portrait maintains its superb vibrant color.
Marks: The piece is signed on the front by the artist. On the back, on plaster ?) it is written the artist's name, the award won and the year it won, the place - Paris- and a number. The meaning of the number is unknown to me. Finally, the entire portrait is framed in a very nice leather frame with Mathieu Deroche's named in gold on the back. The frame can be hung or placed upon a table top.
Dimensions: The enamel portrait is 2" by 2.5". The frame is 4.75" high and 4" wide, with thickness measuring nearly 1".
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