A beautifully rendered large miniature portrait, done in watercolor on natural organic material, after a painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze. The work depicts a mother dozing in a chair, while her child, resting its head on her lap, gazes directly at the viewer.
This truly is a wonderful piece, both in its execution and composition, and measures 7 3/4" by 5 3/4". Unfortunately, it does have some condition issues, with several scattered spots of paint loss, a paint disturbance to the forehead of the woman, and a 2" tight hairline crack on the right side, at 1" in from the edge, running from the midpoint of the painting to the lower edge. There is no frame but the original convex cover glass exists. In spite of these problems it is still a pleasure to view this work, and had it not been for the issues this painting would sell for multiple thousands of dollars.
NOTE: Jean Baptiste Greuze (1725 - 1805) was a French painter best known for his portraits, genre scenes, and history paintings. Greuze’s work was known for having sentimental and sometimes titillating subject matter, as well as for its formal combination of Rococo and Dutch Realist styles. Greuze studied with Charles Grandon in Lyon and later at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris. His clients included such luminaries as Empress Catherine II of Russia (r. 1762-1796), and the marquise de Pompadour (1721-1764). By the end of his life, Greuze, whose work had commanded some of the highest prices in France during the 1760s and 1770s, was nearly bankrupt. His works sell often for hundreds of thousands of dollars and are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, among others.