Portrait of a Man Attributed to William Matthew Prior (1806-1873)
This portrait, executed primarily in red, white and black, has a dramatic flare that defines the strongest of the artist's works. Here the sitter has a well defined face, his strong features well-modulated and handsome, its flesh tones set-off by a black jacket and tie, his white shirt front, and the red book he holds. No shadows merge his body to its neutral gray background, before which it floats in a shallow spatial plane. In contrast to this spatial treatment is the red drape to his right, which is heavily shadowed and highlighted, its contours defined and exaggerated.
Probably MA circa 1840. Sight size 22 x 27 1/2 inches and in a period gilded frame 28 3/4 x 34 1/4 inches. Please see condition report.