A previously unpublished portrait of the great French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) is set to be unveiled at Art-Design-Antiques Chelsea Fair from 17 - 20 March.
Bagshawe Fine Art, the London dealers, have for sale a hitherto unknown portrait that originates from the family of the Rousseau descendants. This portrait passed to cousins of Rousseau’s towards the end of the 18th century and descended in that branch of the family through the 19th century. In the early 20th century the last remaining member of that Rousseau line married into an Italian family and it is their descendants who sold it.
Seeing it appear at auction, Nicholas Bagshawe and his wife the art historian Kendall Bagshawe had a hunch that it had once been a fine thing and rather than some generic portrait of the philosopher was probably a commissioned work from a high quality French professional artist. Research eventually led them to believe that it is the work of the French painter Francois Guerin (working 1751-1791), and after lengthy and careful conservation work, this hunch was confirmed with the emergence of Guerin’s signature on the canvas.
Guerin’s painting of Rousseau is an oil on canvas measuring 30 x 24 inches (76cms x 61cms) and will be on offer from Bagshawe Fine Art at £65,000.
Nicholas Bagshawe can be contacted on Tel: +44 (0)7970 689 647.
Art-Design-Antiques Chelsea Fair brings together dealers specialising in fine quality designer pieces and collectors’ items from the past and present. Originally begun in 1950, the annual event is the longest running antiques event in the UK.
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