Family portrait, 19th century

Oil on canvas, family portrait, with its original wooden frame, lined.
In the middle of the 19th century, the bourgeoisie, actor and beneficiary of the industrial revolution, wanted to leave to posterity the image of its economic and social success. Failing to belong to a noble line, she celebrates the family, keystone of this new bourgeois model. The challenge is then to create an image for yourself at the same time as to build a genealogy, a historical legitimacy. Under the July Monarchy, the number of portrait painters exploded. These are mostly academic portraits aimed at statuary of a family for eternity. This academism will last until the 20th century. The painter then billed for his portrait according to the number of hands and prices soared if he was still standing. Our painting expresses particularly well the position of the mother in the bourgeois family: she is at the center of the composition, dignified, and calm, she reigns over her interior as over her family. The father is protective. Dress conformity, strict, serious attire, patriarchal authority, are the main psycho-sociological characteristics of this family group. Not a note of cheerfulness … at first sight! Then the gaze finds a gently ironic air on the father, we are close to a smile! Just like the mother who hesitates and would like to too. Each face perfectly reflects the “true nature” of the model, and the painter, bringing here and there touches of fantasy, calls us to question these so singular characters … was it at the request of the family? … comply with conventions … but not quite ?!
19th century,
France.

Height: with frame: 91 cm (35,7 in); without frame: 71 cm (28 in).

Width: avec frame: 78 cm (30,7 in); without frame: 58 cm (22,8 in).

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