Auguste & Adele, 19th-Century Sibling Portrait

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This beautiful French mid-19th-century sibling portrait has brought us a great deal of joy since arriving here at Brave. It’s one of those rare moments when a painting seems to light up a whole room.

Auguste is dressed in a blue robe as he glances upwards towards a butterfly that’s attached to a thin thread. His sister, Adele, has her hand on his right shoulder as she looks across to him, perhaps encouraging him to let the butterfly go… They’re both sat at a table, which is awash with vibrant fruit and colourful flora.

Maybe the artist is trying to convey a sense that the riches of childhood should be cherished - as they pass us by like a butterfly tethered to a tiny thread.

The painting is housed in a handsome continental cassetta-style frame and dated on the reverse.

Oil on canvas
Size including frame
31” x 25” / 79cm x 64cm
Year of creation 1844
The painting has craquelure throughout, which is raised in places, small areas of paint loss and accumulated dirt. The frame has considerable age-related wear.