soldportrait of a young boy c1750 studio or circle of antoine pesne

SOLD......Portrait of a Young Boy c.1750; Studio or Circle of Antoine Pesne.



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Oil on canvas in distressed gilt frame.
This beautiful little portrait has an intimate and jewel-like quality.
The aristocratic sitter, a good-looking boy of about eight wearing a military uniform, surveys the viewer with a level gaze.
The eighteenth century was a period of almost constant warfare across Europe and the Prussians were frequently involved, culminating in their alliance with the British to defeat Napoleon at Waterloo.
A boy of the sitter's class would almost certainly have been engaged in these conflicts, exchanging his play uniform for a real one as an officer.
What his future held will never be known to us, but now, 260 years later, this beautiful little boy, proudly wearing his uniform, looks confidently into our eyes, caught in a moment of time...forever young.
The frame is not the original but is of considerable age, as can be especially seen in the image of its back.
It dates from around 1810. By the end of the 18th century framemakers had begun using 'composition' or 'compo', this had the benefit of being easier to work than wood and thus kept down costs.

This frame is Louis XV (1710-1774) in style and therefore, stylistically, is correct for this mid 18th c. portrait. What happened to the original frame will never be known.
The idea behind this style of frame was that the bold, massy decoration gives great weight to the containing corners, especially on a small portrait, and the depth of the frame itself acts a strong setting for the painting in the way that a heavy gold setting sets off a jewel.
ANTOINE PESNE (29 May 1683 – 5 August 1757) was a French-born court painter of Prussia. Starting in the manner of Baroque, he became one of the fathers of Rococo in painting.
Born in Paris, Pesne first studied art under his father, the painter Thomas Pesne and his great-uncle, Charles de la Fosse. From 1704 to 1710 he received a stipend for advanced training at the Académie Royale in Italy, visiting Rome and Naples before settling in Venice. In 1707 his portrait of the Prussian ambassador to Venice attracted the attention of Frederick I of Prussia, who invited the painter to Berlin.
Pesne arrived in 1711 and was soon made court painter, quickly establishing a great reputation for his portraits of the leading aristocracy.
In 1710, he was called to Berlin by King Frederick I of Prussia.
As the director of the Berlin Academy of the Arts from 1722, Pesne became famous through his portraits of the Prussian royal family and their household. Many of his portraits hang in Berlin Museums and in Charlottenburg Palace. These include (among others) his portraits of the first two kings of Prussia and Frederick Williams family.
Pesne's portraits provide a vivid illustration of the spirited courtly culture of Prussia at the time; the have the lightness of touch and rich colour which are the hallmarks of the Rococo.
In addition to his state portraits of the powerful Pesne produced a number of more informal, intimate portraits often of his family.
SIZE: canvas 9.5 x 8 inches.
Framed size: 18 x 10. 25 inches.
PROVENANCE: English Private Collection.
Internal Ref: 8657

This item is SOLD and is no longer available to purchase.

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