Antique American Folk Art Portrait Oil on Canvas c. 1840

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Antique American Folk Art Portrait Oil on Canvas c. 1840

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SIZE
30. x 36 in.

DESCRIPTION
Midwest provenance but I suspect possibly New York. The subject is perhaps a scholar or a book keeper. The artist was probably a limner/house painter and charged maybe five dollars (give or take) for his work.  This is an interesting piece of folk art with a lot of naive details-- books, ink well, sander, feather quill, etc. This was a talented self-taught painter but he hadn't exactly mastered the intricacies of perspective. He couldn't figure out how to align the vanishing points of the top of the secretary with the angled writing surface of the desk. Note also the quirky sense of composition-- he couldn't figure out how to get the subject centered with between the book case and the drapes. He probably didn't care. All this adds interest and charm.

CONDITION
Canvas has been relined and mounted on newer stretcher. I see several areas of inpainting-- mostly in the background. Frame is a custom mademetal contraption which serves to put a narrow border around the canvas.

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