Study Of A Black Youth

Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Augustin

French, 1759 - 1832

Study of a Black Youth, n.d.

  • Not On View

Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 16 × 12 1/4 in. (40.6 × 31.1 cm)

Gift of the Founders Society, 2003.1

This Study of a Black Youth is attributed to the French painter Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Augustin and was probably completed sometime before 1832. Proudly self-taught, Augustin was a master at painting miniatures, earning the honor of premier peintre en miniature to the French king in 1824. Despite obscure origins and meager resources, he managed to become a regular contributor to the Salon exhibitions in Paris. Interestingly, he was able to thrive where others failed during the most turbulent period in French history – from the French Revolution on through the restoration of the monarchy.His attention to detail and honest, accurate portrayal of his subjects no doubt led to his reputation among the European nobility. What is fascinating about this particular painting is its masterful rendering and respectful treatment of the subject. During this time in history, it was very uncommon to depict people of non-European ancestry.

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