Signed and dated “A. DeBacq 1849” (Charles-Alexandre DeBacq), this charming oil on canvas painting portrays a French noble couple enjoying a snack in the courtyard after an afternoon horseback ride. Surrounded by a highly-carved giltwood frame adorned with foliage and a textured lozenge background, the small, colorful painting features a woman in a gold and silver gown, seated at a table covered with white linen with a pink stripe and a wicker basket of fruit. DeBacq had exemplary technique, finely detailing the woman’s gown with fabric folds and a high sheen, indicating that the dress was fashioned from expensive silk.
Standing behind the table is a well-dressed gentleman clad in blue and red with gold trim and white fluffy sleeves. Once again, you can visualize the nuances that indicate the man is wearing the finest fabrics. In contrast, the servant woman who is carrying a serving bowl from the house is dressed in cotton wares of drab colors, except for a green and red apron. Another staff member, a stable hand, can be seen tending to two horses in the background. Three chickens can be seen in the foreground, foraging for food at the seated woman’s feet, while a green thicket can be seen at the rear of the property, under a blue sky filled with clouds.
Charles-Alexandre DeBacq was born in Paris in 1804. A student of Antoine-Jean Gros, who was in turn a pupil of Jacques-Louis David, DeBacq specialized in historical scenes and portraits. Greatly respected in France, several of DeBacq’s paintings hang in the Palace of Versailles and in museums across Europe.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with minor craquelure to the canvas and light age separations to the giltwood frame. Small canvas patch to the verso side, which is rigged for hanging. Signed and dated in the lower right corner.