François Dumont collection; Antoine-Bias Dumont, second son of the above, until 1878; Doctor Henri Gillet, until 1907; Anonymous sale, Monaco, Sotheby's, 15 June 1990, lot 292; There purchased by the present collector for 466,200 FF.
An old label on the reverse indicates that the painting was given by Robert to his close friend the painter François Dumont who was also in Rome in the 1780s. François Dumont (1751–1831) was one of the most important painters of portrait minatures of his time. In 1784 he journeyed to Rome where he met Robert, returning after four years of study. He was accepted as an Academician in 1788 and granted an apartment in the Louvre. He married the daughter of Antoine Vestier, the miniature painter, and had two sons, Aristide and Bias, both of whom became painters. The present picture was left to his son Bias after his death. Another painting by Robert, bearing the same inscription on the reverse, was sold in these rooms on 26 January 2011, lot 15.
For a high resolution digital image, please refer to the online catalogue at Sothebys.com or contact a member of the Old Master Paintings department.
The canvas has an old relining. The surface is quite dirty, and probably has not been restored in decades. There is surface dirt visible within the craquelure, but UV light reveals that there are no major losses or repairs, and that the surface is actually quite healthy and would brighten significantly were it to receive a surface clean. The varnish is very dirty so it is difficult to determine if there are older retouches underneath, but certainly there do not appear to be major damages. In a carved gilt wood frame. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.