A huge oil painting, painted and dated 1803, and attributed to the "school of David (Jacques-Louis DAVID), Napoleon's favorite court painter. This means it is done by those studying with and/or working under that famed artist. The painting is identified as Mme Marie-Louise Boucher (or perhaps Bouchet), Dame Boutron, and has the added charm of her holding up a paper upon which is noted that it is in celebration of the 50th anniversary of her marriage to M. Boutron. This lovely older woman lived just one year more, after her portrait was done, and we know she was born in 1733, died in April, 1804. I know little else about her. The marriage commemorated is dated in her letter, too, and is noted as 13, September, 1753 (1803 on painting, but that is the 50th anniversary). Also noted is that the celebration or the marriage (not sure which) was under the seal of St. Eustache, that wonderful old church I love in Paris. One could certainly learn more about this woman and her story with the clues given us in the painting. Elegantly accomplished, I'm a bit in love with this Grand Dame. She sits in a fabulous French Empire Directoir chair and wears the distinguished gown of a stylish matron of her time. Napoleon was in ascent, along with the French Empire, so she's been taken from a very large Empire frame (sadly) which has probably been remounted with a big mirror for some chic Paris apartment. But even without her original frame, she's marvelous. Ready to frame or to hang just as you see her. I like these unframed if shown in contemporary decor, and with or without frame in traditional to Empire interiors. Again, This painting is 36.5" x 29" and the depth of the old wood stretcher is 1". Old painting has been adhered by way of restoration and conservation, to a newer and stronger linen canvas (visible from back) and will remain an elegant canvas and nicely stretched for centuries more.
Very good to excellent condition, there are no holes, tears, evidence of restoration apart from the entire old canvas being professionally mounted to a newer linen canvas, the French means of conservation and not a restoration. Label on back is shown enlarged in our image so you can see the notations of the ID of the sitter. Some light surface crazing to the old oil painting, particularly to the upper and left of her bonnet facing us. Splendid capture of her gray hair, her pearls and her glasses in hand, the proclamation of celebration of her 50th wedding anniversary in her other hand. I find no signature visible. It is possible the painting was reduced in size upon conservation and signature lost, or it might never have been signed.
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