Artist signature: Gangloff (perhaps)
dated by artist: 1880
Oil on stretched canvas, 18" x 15"
Elaborate 19th c. original gesso on wood frame 27.5" x 24" and 3.5" deep
Portraits of children are rather more rare to find than others. This one is a charming oil painting of a young boy, still in his long locks and in black velvet suit with lace collar and cuffs, French, 1880. We know it is a boy because of his side-parted hair. Girls' hair was parted in center, and boys to the side. Hair was usually grown long until around 4-5 years of age, when a boy's hair would be cut, and he'd change from rather unisex baby gowns (helped with potty training, after all) and was into his britches or pants. This is also the time of moderate celebration as a boy went from being mama's baby to being his papa's son. We know that some were fortunate enough to have an oil painting done; perhaps a cabinet card photo, or perhaps the long shorn locks were saved with a ribbon, worked up as a souvenir within a frame. A hair art memento (not always a mourning item, remember). I digress. This oil painting is splendid. The face, eyes, youth and innocence captured so perfectly by this artist I'm unable to find information for. Alas, I did once have it. I'll continue to try to find it in my purchase files and will annotate the listing, once found.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, the old frame is gorgeous and remarkably unscathed for its 140+ years. Valuable antique in its own right, it remains almost perfectly intact. Deep at 3.5", it is beautifully crafted as you can see from review of both front and back of the heavy old wood, gesso gilded frame in our photos. The painting is fabulous! There is one spot that has had an old restoration, shows on back as a patch and on front as a reworked spot on his collar edge and area just near it. There is also a slight imperfection in the stretching of this canvas which is showing as a small ripple-like issue upper left corner, only seen when the light catches it just right. I've tried to be sure you can see it. I have this one on my walls, have had for years, and love it just as it is. You might wish to have it re-stretched or a slight improvement on the collar restoration which seems to show up in our photos almost blue, though it looks white on the painting in actual view.
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Antique French Oil Painting in Elaborate Frame, A Beautiful Portrait, A Young Boy, Lace Collar, c.1880
$1,722 $2,295 SALE