This highly detailed portrait depicts a French gentleman during the Napoleonic period. The swept hair and stylish clothes indicate a dateline of around 1810, the overall manner of the image being hugely redolent of the work of the celebrated French court artist Jean-Baptiste Isabey.
An enormously gifted French painter and printmaker, specializing in portraits and miniatures Isabey enjoyed official favour from the time of Louis XVI until his death. His portrait Napoleon at Malmaison (1802) is considered one of the best likenesses of the emperor. He studied under, among others, the celebrated neo-classical painter Jacques-Louis David and received one of his first commissions from Marie-Antoinette. Despite his original connections with the monarchy, Isabey created 228 portraits of deputies for a work on the Legislative Assembly during the Revolution. Equally he was later patronized by both Napoleon and Joséphine, even arranging the ceremonies of their coronation. During the reign of Louis-Philippe (1830-48), he directed the artists’ studio at the Sèvres porcelain factory. Such was his widespread influence that many French artists of the period developed a style similar in taste and precision, the present work being a good example of this.