George Peter Alexander Healy (1813-1894) oil on board painting of a young gentleman seated and attired in a patterned silk vest with black coat and neck tie. Signed and dated along the lower edge "Geo. PA Healy/Jan'y 1840/London". R. Davy, London, Artist Supply paper label, en verso. Housed in a gilt carved frame with acanthus leaf and laurel leaf decoration. Sight – 14 3/8" H x 11 3/8" W. Framed – 23 1/4" H x 19 1/4" W. Provenance: Private Texas Collection; purchased in the 1980s at an estate sale auction in upstate New York. Biography: George Healy was born to impoverished parents in Boston, but became one of the best-known portrait painters of the mid to late 19th century. At age 17, Healy opened a portrait studio. His talent was soon recognized by Thomas Sully. In 1834, Healy, supported by Sully and one of his patrons, Mrs. Harrison Gray Otis, left for the first of many trips to Paris where he studied with Antoine Jean-Gros and with Thomas Couture. After 8 years in France and England, he had gained an international reputation. He spent the remainder of his life traveling between the United States and Europe. His subjects included Louis Philippe, Abraham Lincoln, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Pope Pius IX, Franz Liszt, and other notable figures. (Source: Michael Zellman, 300 Years of American Art). CONDITION: Horizontal cracks to upper and lower margins of board and very light rubbing to margins. Flouresces between eyes, around both jaw lines, left forehead and cheek, and above the head under blacklight inspection, indicating possible inpainting. Scattered losses to frame and later gilt paint touch up to frame.
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