Reminds me of the wonderful and intimate sketches by Ingres and David, early 1800s, which I once was fortunate enough to encounter at an exhibit mounted in the Grand Palais in Paris. Tightly realistic portraits that dissolve into the line here or there. It is in this style and genre this portrait has been done, and I think it very likely the artist is a student of Ingres. A stunning portrait, sketch in pencil and conte on paper, and signed by the artist (though we aren't able to make it out - lower left partially obscured by the frame). The old frame is the original. And this is not a print, but a one of a kind drawing. Probably a sketch to be used as model for a larger painting, but it's such a lovely intimate portrait, it might be the only one and just a sketch of a friend, lover, patron. The old original frame houses it well and it displays with all the ambiance one could ask. Whether hung on the wall or displayed on a bookshelf or where, it's going to become a favorite. The writing on the back is nearly impossible to read, but we've shown it in case you can make out either the sitter or the artist's name there. Frame is gold leafed and is a simple elegant oval. Cover glass in place.
Very good to excellent for age and type. This would be c.1830-70, and it has a bit of the typical paper surface "scumbles" the old sketch book portraits often display. A rub to the pencil or conte or charcoal surface exposing the lighter paper beneath. You see that on this one there to the left of our figure, near the artist's signature. No tears, no rips, no holes. Very lovely old thing. Frame is 12" x 6" and is 1" thick.
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