Late 19th-Century English School Portrait Of A Lady With A Fan

Late 19th-Century English School Portrait Of A Lady With A Fan

A fine late-19th-century English school portrait of a lady with a marabou feather fan. It’s an outstanding piece that captures the sitter’s character with a high degree of skill. The details are sublime and we particularly love the hands which are exquisitely observed.

Note how the emphasis is placed upon the fan, which is front and centre. This was a fashion statement during the late-19th-century and clearly, the lady was particularly fond of it. Marabou fans were constructed of sticks of bone with layers of soft feathers covering both sides. When opened, the feather would fluff up to create a beautiful effect.

Ladies' fashion had become quite sophisticated during the 1880s with narrow skirts featuring an array of folds, drapes, pleats and embellishments. The bustle had also made a comeback (although you can’t see it here) and bonnets were more ‘hat-like’ than previous decades.

The portrait is monogrammed AB in the lower right and dated (18)89.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 25” x 36” / 63cm x 92cm
Year of creation: 1889
Provenance: England
Condition: Beautiful condition following a light restoration. Canvas relined.

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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