A rare and enchanting European, Portrait of a Boy wearing a Turban & Pearl Earring. Circa 1780-1820.
In the 17th and 18th Century a fascination for the Ottoman empire aesthetic swept through European fashionistas and the socially elite .
Known as ‘Turquerie’ its influence on European art, fashion and decorative arts would then lead to the broader trend of Orientalism in the 19th Century.
Portraits were sometimes painted with a flourish of exotic props and costumes, such as Turbans, robes, jewels and feathers.
The wearing of a single pearl for a male, was a fashion that emerged during the Renaissance period, when pearls were highly prized status symbols of wealth and power; and like all fashion that has its shining moment and fades; eventually it comes back again, and again..as seen with the c2020 trend of boys & young men once again adorned with a pearl earring as seen on @harrystyles at the 2019 Met Gala!
Oil on Millboard, unsigned. Millboard was an artists surface first recorded as being used in the late 18th Century. It consisted of many layers of paper being glued together to form a thick strong card. The surface was then prepared with a layer of Gesso before the artist commenced painting.
The painting has been restored, and has stable aged craquelure. In the refracting light, the texture, bumps and age of the surface are evident.