Lot 421: George Healy (1813-1894), Portrait of a Young Man
December 2, 2016
Hillsborough, NC, USALive Auction
oil on canvas, signed and dated at center left "G. P. A. Healy / 1859," presented in the original gilt composition frame.
SS 35.25 x 28.25 in.; DOA 49.5 x 42 in.
Born in Boston to an Irish family, George Peter Alexander Healy was among the most sought after portrait artists in the western world by the end of his life. Primarily self-taught, his early success as a portrait painter in Boston allowed him to travel to Paris where he studied beside Baron Gros and Thomas Couture. Healy was commissioned by Louis Philippe, France's constitutional monarch, in 1842 to paint portraits of all the U.S. presidents for the Versailles collection. The overthrow of Louis Philippe in 1848 meant that the series found a final home at the Corcoran Gallery of American Art in Washington, D.C. Exhibited: The Louisiana State Museum, G.P.A. Healy: Famous Figures and Louisiana Patrons, December 1976 - May 1977, number 14 (illustrated p. 36) Illustrated: The Magazine Antiques. Glasgow, Vaughn. G.P.A. Healy and his Louisiana Portraits. Ed. Wendell Garrett. June 1977, Vol. CXI, No. 6. Page 1206.
Condition Report: Scattered paint flaking around perimeter of painting; surface grime; yellowing varnish; minor rubbing and loss to frame.
Collection of Dr. O'Quinn & Nathan Smith, Raleigh, NC
According to the exhibition catalogue from the Louisiana State Museum, "what little is known of the provenance of this picture suggests that the sitter is from a Louisiana or Mississippi family."