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  • "Portrait of a Boy", oil painting on canvas | Anatole Fouquet (French, b. 1793)
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"Portrait of a Boy", oil painting on canvas | Anatole Fouquet (French, b. 1793)

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Executed in oil on canvas, signed in lower right corner "A. Fouquet"
Item # 811NKJ20P 

A powerful portrait of a child by the 19th century listed French artist Anatole Fouquet, it depicts a young boy of some wealth in an elaborate period garment pausing from his afternoon of games.  Hoop in hand and his hat now lying on the ground, discarded in the day's activities, he stands at the porch edge of a grand estate.  While he is exquisitely detailed, the background is almost equal in its skillful and vibrant depiction.  A classical sculpture stands in the distance before a diverse grove of trees and well-tailored grounds, the floral arrangement rising over the edge of the wall before stairs leading to the gardens.  The portrait almost shines with a vibrancy and richness of color that is quite moving - dark shadows and looming clouds bring a certain seriousness to a day of play.  In the lower right corner is a crisp signature in his typical red script reading A. Fouquet. 

Anatole Fouquet:
Little is known about the life of Fouquet, though he is relatively well-listed and the few works of his that have come to market over the years are always exquisitely detailed.  Born in 1793, he studied under François Alexandre Pernot and was active in Paris.  He exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1833 through 1837 with submissions of "View of the Lake of Bourget, near Aix in Savoy" (1833), "View of Orbe, Switzerland" in watercolor (1834),  "View of Bourget" (1834), "View of Dieppe from the High Ground behind the Castle (1835) and "View of Normandy" (1837).  His 1838 "Portrait of Mrs. Margaret Strachey" sold at auction in London 1908.  He painted actively in both oil and watercolor, completing a large body of landscapes as well as portrait work and genre studies.  His paintings are generally characterized by exacting portraiture with a certain luminescence in his handling of shadows and reflections.  As an accomplished landscape painter, his mastery of the elements is always noteworthy.

Literature & Further Reading:

  • Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Thieme & Becker
  • E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. V, Gründ, 2006
  • Les salons retrouvés: Éclat de la vie artistique dans la France du Nord, 1815-1848, Vol. II, 1993

Measurements: 39 3/4" H x 30" W x 4" D [frame]; 32" H x 23 3/8" W [canvas]

Condition Report:
Light craquelure.  Professionally conserved in the last fifty years: relined; under UV vertical visible from wrist to ear, in a T beneath the boy's wrist, at both knees, in the upper right, scattered touchups around the sides.  Frame is old but not original with minor chips and wear to gilding.  Beautifully preserved and ready to hang in the home.