Portrait of a Gentleman – Attributed to Peter Michal Bohúň – Circa 1850
Attractive Biedermeier period portrait representing an elegant man seated in an armchair, wearing a black frock coat and a yellow vest, holding a glove in his hand. Oil on canvas of excellent quality for its style, composition and love of detail is very reminiscent of the work of the Slovak painter Peter Michal Bohúň (1822-1879) famous for his portraits, who used to paint in pairs. This portrait is half of a pair, along with the Portrait of a Woman, by the same artist. Well-executed oil on canvas painting, its composition, style and the artist’s love of detail are all signature qualities found in the works of the Slovak painter Peter Michal Bohúň (1822-1879), famous for his portraits; he usually painted them in pairs.
Peter Michal Bohúň, born 29 September 1822 in Veličná, was a Slovak painter, primarily of portraits, although he also did landscapes and altarpieces.
His father was a Lutheran minister. In 1843, he decided that he wanted to be an artist and entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His teacher there was the German history painter, Christian Ruben who, at that time, was also the Academy's Director. His father died in 1844, cutting off his financial support, so he sought and obtained the patronage of a nobleman from Orava named Michał Kubín. In addition to painting, he studied lithography and made some illustrations for the botanical dictionary of Jan Svatopluk Presl.
In 1854, he and his family moved to Liptovský Mikuláš, where he spent eleven years as a drawing teacher at the Lutheran girls' school, dabbled in photography and decorated curtains for amateur theater groups. Deeply in debt, he left Slovakia in 1865 and took his family to Bielsko-Biała in Galicia, where he died of pneumonia on 20 May 1879.
Artist: Attributed to Peter Michal Bohúň (1822-1879).
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition. Relined and restored.
Dimensions: 73 x 60 cm. / 28 ¾ x 23 ½ in.
Frame: 91 x 77 cm. / 35 ¾ x 30 ¼ in. Gilt wood and stucco, 19th century.