A characterful late-19th-century portrait of a weary old gentleman dressed in traditional clothing. His right arm is draped over the back of a chair and he holds a glass in his left hand.
The artist, Ida Johanna Sophia Orvall (1862-1950), has captured his posture and expression skillfully. We particularly love his outfit with its bold colours and confident brushwork.
There are very few works by Orvall still in circulation and this is a rare find. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm and was predominantly known as an illustrator.
In 1899, she became a deaconess (a woman belonging to an order or sisterhood) and dedicated her life to helping the sick and poor. It’s interesting to consider this decision with the painting in mind. Did she paint this as a commentary on temperance?
The Sormlands Museum holds two photographs of Ida that can be viewed here:
The portrait is housed within a period gilded frame with a name plaque.
Medium: Oil on canvas Overall size: 30½” x 34½” / 77cm x 88cm Year of creation: c. 1890 Provenance: Germany Condition: Very presentable following a light restoration. Areas of craquelure but the paint layer is stable. Frame with some age-related wear.