French ( b.1780 - d.1867 )
|Image size||24.4 inches x 20.1 inches ( 62cm x 51cm )|
|Frame size||29.9 inches x 26.4 inches ( 76cm x 67cm )|
Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original pastel on vellum by Antoine Favart dated 1846.
The work is presented and supplied in a late 19th century frame but mounted and isolated using modern day conservation materials and behind glass. The frame has losses with its decorative features.
The vellum has benefitted from some restoration by being carefully, expertly and diligently re-stretched over an extended period and then fixed to a board, which was performed in 2009 on our instructions.
Antoine Favart was born in Paris in 1780. He came from a famous theatrical family, his father being the French playwright Charles Nicolas Joseph Justin Favart and his grandfather being the dramatist Charles Simon Favart. His mother was Maurice-Genvieve Favart (nee Bellot), an accomplished pastellist and former pupil of Bachelier.
Antoine Favart was in the diplomatic service being the Consul for France in Russia in the 1860s but was also a playwright himself a painter and an engraver.
This picture is a stunning half portrait of Alexey Konstantino Tolstoy, the softness and texture being achieved by the medium of pastel on velum.
The subject, Tolstoy, was a Russian poet, novelist and dramatist. He was born in St Petersburg to the famous family of Count Tolstoy, graduated from Moscow University and spent most of his life serving at Court. He was Master of Ceremonies and later Master of Royal Hunting. When he retired from service he wrote poetry, ballads, some licentious verse and satire under the pen name of Kozma Prutkov and a trilogy of historical dramas.
Steeped in history, this very rare pastel on velum depicts a head and shoulders portrait. The sitter strikes a noble pose, with receding hairline, and full black beard. His expression is both serious and composed. He wears a sumptuous sable trimmed coat with a glimpse of a white undershirt. The background is shades of grey, adding to the very dignified impression of this magnificent piece.