This sublime early-19th-century portrait by Julius Friedlænder (1810-1861) depicts a stylish young gentleman wearing a white shirt, waistcoat, and black jacket. He’s brimming with life, eyes alive and characterful - yet relaxed and open, with left hand casually resting on the chair.
In 1834, when Friedlænder completed this portrait, he was just 24 years old but already a multiple award-winner at the Royal Danish Academy.
As such, his time was highly valued by the rising middle-class of Denmark and later by the Royal Family. His subject possess a poignant sense of ‘joie de vivre’ - they’re elevated above the statuesque. Note the smile here and the glint in the eye - this was a man with personality. The tight waistcoat buttons are also a curious addition, they add to the narrative and suggest contentment.
It’s a splendid portrayal by an artist thoroughly enjoying his work.
Signed, dated and housed within a 19th-century gilt frame.
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Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 21½” x 25” / 55cm x 64cm
Year of creation: 1834
Condition: Artwork presents well. Canvas relined. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £25,000 achieved for an oil painting in 1998.