19th-century French School large-scale oil on canvas signed N. Michel (19th century) and dated 1888 in the lower left. On the back is written "Henri Napoléon Michel" and dated 1885. We presume this is the subject. The portrait is also entitled "Le Tonnelier de Bercy" (the barrel maker of Bercy). The work is smooth to the touch.
A portrait of a barrel maker from Bercy in Paris. The light is perfectly calibrated and realistic for a workshop of this kind. The work is immortalizes this artisan whose position suggests pride and self-fulfillment in this trade.
The 19th century made it possible to highlight the work of the working class and the pride of the petty bourgeoisie. The French barrel maker was historically the integral partner of the wine producer and maker. The barrel would be made to correspond to the wine, aide in the evolution of the taste and aromas to distinguish each vintage. The barrel's form, wood and fabrication method all affected the wine during its critical development in the barrel.
In the middle of the 19th century, barrel makers were also essential to the marketing of wine coming from Burgundy and transported on the rivers to the port of Bercy.
The wood and stucco frame is elegantly inspired by the craft with brass uprights and colors similar to old barrels.
- Overall Size: 32.2" x 27.1" / 82cm x 69cm.
- Size without the frame: 28.7" x 23.6" / 73cm x 60cm.
- Country: France.
- Signed: N. Michel (19th century).
- Date: 1888.
- Condition: The canvas has traces and a restoration mark which can create a reflection effect starting from the upper left diagonal to the bust of the figure (visible on the back). The frame has traces due to time and a slight spacing with the canvas on the right side.
- Materials: Oil on stretched canvas.
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