Manuel de Franca (Portugese/American, 1808-1865) oil on linen portrait of George Washington, after Gilbert Stuart. Washington is depicted wearing a dark coat and ruffled white shirt, and painted within an oval with the Latin words "Patriae Pater" beneath his chest. Signed lower right "MFranca pinxt". Lemon-gilt gesso molded frame. 16" x 13" sight, 21" x 18" framed. Provenance: private Nashville collection. Professionally conserved in 2007, refer to images. Biography (courtesy Askart) Portugese born artist Manuel De Franca studied at the Lisbon art school founded by Francisco Goya. When he was sentenced to death for his role in a revolt against the Don Miguel government, friends smuggled him out of Portugal on a ship to Philadelphia. There, he was befriended by the artist Joshua Shaw, and studied under Thomas Sully and John Neagle. Franca exhibited his work on the site of the Peale Museum with Joshua Shaw and Emanuel Leutze, and at the Apollo Gallery in New York City. He also submitted paintings to the American Art Union. In 1842, he traveled with his new wife to western Pennsylvania to decorate church altars. Then moving on to Tennessee and Kentucky, he painted portraits. He eventually settled in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1844. He became the city's most popular portrait artist. Franca founded the Western Academy of Art in 1860, but soon retired due to lung disease and died a short time later. Note: Additional photos and information on 2007 conservation may be found on www.caseantiques.com. CONDITION: Wax lining with moderate amount of inpainting including forehead, chin, and right side of face, Refer to scan of detailed professional conservation report from Cumberland Art Conservation, dated Nov. 2007.
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