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    Description

    JOHN F. FRANCIS (American, 1808-1886)
    Portrait of a Man, circa 1846
    Oil on canvas
    35 x 28-1/2 inches (88.9 x 72.4 cm)
    Signed indistinctly and dated on the reverse
    PROVENANCE:
    Mr. and Mrs. George E. Missbach, Atlanta, Georgia;
    High Museum of Art, Atlanta Georgia, until 2000;
    Private collection, New York.

    LITERATURE:
    J.L. Larson, De. Hoopes and P. Peet, American Paintings at the High Museum of Art, New York, 1994, p. 195, illus.


    Although best known for his "dessert" and "luncheon" still-life paintings, John F. Francis devoted his early career during the 1840s and '50s to portraiture, particularly of the elite from his hometown, Philadelphia. As a portraitist and silhouettist, Francis also painted subjects in rural Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, Delaware, Ohio, Maine, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. During this time, he exhibited nearly twenty paintings at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts annual exhibitions. His portraits were intimate, executed in a traditional manner: ladies and gentleman, or mothers with children, dressed in finery and seated in interiors framed by theatrical drapery and views of idyllic landscapes. Exemplifying Francis' early portraiture, this portrait highlights a stack of books to the sitter's left, intimating his intellectual or professional pursuits. The Presbyterian minister Dr. Charles Collins wrote about Francis shortly following his death: "Francis spoke with pride of his former associations among the opulent and distinguished society. Forty or fifty years ago, he ranked himself among the then well-known Philadelphia portrait painters, Sully, Darley, Brewster, etc." (A. Frankenstein, "J.F. Francis," Antiques, v.59, no.5, May 1951, p.375.)



    Condition Report*: Good condition; original canvas with craquelure overall; minor frame abrasion to paint layer along the lower left edge; scattered flecks of in-painting throughout the sitter's face, shirt, coat, and right hand and throughout the background of the upper right quadrant; 1" circular region of in-painting in crook of sitter's left arm; 1/2" circular region of in-painting above his left hand; and two 3/4" circular regions of in-painting in his pant leg, lower right quadrant.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,546

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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