PORTRAIT OF A LADY ATTRIBUTED TO FRANCOIS JOSEPH KINSOEN (1771-1839)
Oil on canvas 65.5 x 48 inches Framed size 77 ½ x 60 ¼ inches
A stunning portrait of a beautiful young woman, painted circa 1810-15, wearing a dark blue gown edged with lace, and around her brow and neck are triple strands of pearls clasped with cameos. The ribbon below her bust is also fastened with cameos and a vibrantly coloured paisley shawl is draped over her arm. On the table draped with red velvet beside her are a feathered tocque and a collapsible telescope. The latter suggests that the sitter or someone beloved by her is far away. The portrait is contained within its original gilt frame decorated with acorns and acanthus leaves. Francois-Joseph Kinsoen was born in Bruges, Belgium, in 1771. He attended the Academy, won several prizes and established a reputation in Ghent and Brussels before exhibiting in Paris in 1799. His success encouraged him to move to Paris where he developed a fashionable society clientele. His sober and elegant works, in the style of David and Baron Gerard, led him to be in high demand among the upper echelons of Parisian society. He was particularly talented at painting women, often giving them a striking air of eleganceand refinement. During the Empire Kinsoen worked for Napoleon's Court and in 1808 he became court painter to Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, whom he followed to Kassel in 1810. After the overthrow of his patron in 1813 Kinsoen returned to Paris and in 1816 was appointed painter to Louis-Antoine de Bourbon, Duc d'Angouleme (1775-1844). He was awarded the Legion D'Honneur by Louis XVIII and later became court painter to Charles X.From 1820 he exhibited regularly at the Ghent and Brussels salons where his portraits were highly regarded. Kinsoen continued to work as a court painter in Paris until 1830 when he moved back to Bruges. His studio was bought by the English collectors John and Josephine Bowes, founders of the Barnard Castle Museum, County Durham, which has several portraits by Kinsoen. Kinsoen's works are represented in many museums including: Arras; Bordeaux; The Hague; Moulins; Versailles, Barnard Castle Museum.