Property from a Distinguished American Collection
(Paris 1686 - 1755 Beauvais)
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, HALF LENGTH, IN A POWDERED WIG, BEFORE A COLUMN
oil on canvas
36⅛ by 28¾ in.; 91.7 by 73.1 cm.
The canvas is tightly lined and is stable on its stretcher. The image presents strongly beneath a clear and crisp varnish, and the paint layer is stable. Detail has been well-preserved in the delicate lace of the sitter's costume as well as in the intricate decorative fabric that appears on his sleeve at the lower left, near his neck, and at the cuff around his hand at right. The canvas has been pressed in some areas, for example in the lower portion of the wig. Inspection under UV reveals an area of restoration and a few scattered spots at the center of the lower edge, as well as a diagonal spot in his lower chest. There are also a few spots of old restored repairs scattered in the background, for example to the left of his shoulder, near the upper left edge, and near the center of the top edge, as well as two areas to the upper right of his wig, though all of these repairs have been well attended to. There are a few very fine and well-applied strokes of retouching and strengthening scattered here and there in his face, costume, hand, wig, and architecture. There are additional spots in the background in the lower left, as well as a very thin scratch in this area. Offered in a decoratively carved giltwood 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.
This handsome work is illustrative of Jean-Baptiste Oudry's early training as a portrait painter. Such examples are rare, for at a young age Oudry abandoned portraiture in favor of depictions of animals, for which he is now most recognized.