19th-Century French School Miniature, Two Priests Relaxing With Drinks

19th-Century French School Miniature, Two Priests Relaxing With Drinks

An unusual miniature depicting two French Roman Catholic priests relaxing with a few drinks. They know each other well and seem to be sharing a moment of humour.

The details are exquisite and best viewed under magnification. Even the framed picture on the wall is perfectly rendered and there’s a tiny jewellery box on the table.

This could be a 19th-century copy of a larger piece but we’ve been unable to find any other versions. If it’s an original, it’s intriguing to consider how the artist managed to capture such a candid moment.

Oil on wood
Overall size 
5” x 3” / 12cm x 8cm
Year of creation
c. 1850
A few paint losses and some scuffing but many of the imperfections are due to the wood itself, which had bumps and a rough surface when it was originally used. There’s an area towards the top in which some darker paint has gathered but this is as the artist intended.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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