L'Extase - 19th Century French Belle Epoque Portrait Oil Painting


This is a large fine 19th century oil painting portrait of a young society beauty depicted en déshabillé by the eminent French Academic painter Charles Joshua Chaplin (1825-1891). ‘L’Extase’ is inscribed by the artist verso and sold in a superb quality, newly commissioned, bespoke gold metal leaf neoclassical frame. As one of his most popular paintings, Chaplin painted several versions of this same portrait but this is the finest example I have come across.

As with all of the original antique oil paintings we sell it is offered in excellent condition, having just been professionally cleaned and re-varnished. Clients should also note that tracked and signed for international shipping is complimentary.

Chaplin’s celebrated portraits of young Belle Epoque beauties are reminiscent of the 18th century romanticism of Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) and François Boucher (1703–1770) and established him as one of the foremost French academic painters of the period. By the late 1850’s Chaplin was being inundated with commissions from the French aristocracy requesting portraits of their wives and daughters. Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, was also a big fan and appointed him an artist of the court. Her and her husband’s enthusiastic support would soon come in especially useful when, in 1859, the Chaplin’s portrait ‘Aurora’ was banned by the judges of the Salon for being “too erotically suggestive”. The disqualification order was subsequently overturned when Napoleon III himself sprung to Chaplin’s defence.

During his lifetime Chaplin was awarded numerous medals at the Paris Salon and in 1865 he was declared a Chevalier and later Officer of la Légion d’Honneur (1881). Today, works by Charles Chaplin are held in the collections of the Louvre in Paris, the Hermitage in St Petersburg, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Dimensions: (framed) 92cm x 68cm (36¼” x 26¾”)
Dimensions: (canvas only) 73cm x 49cm (28¾” x 19¼”)
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Provenance: Private UK collection.
Presentation: Newly commissioned bespoke gold metal leaf frame. All of the new frames we commission are especially made for us to order by one of the UK’s top period frame makers.
Condition: Excellent. Newly professionally cleaned, restored, and re-varnished. Ready to hang.

Belle Epoque

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