Jan 29, 2008



c. 1812

Joseph Paelinck

(Belgian, 1781–1839)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 114 x 94.5 x 7.5 cm (44 7/8 x 37 3/16 x 2 15/16 in.); Unframed: 89 x 69.3 cm (35 1/16 x 27 5/16 in.)

Gift of Elisabeth Ireland and Robert Livingston Ireland, Jr., in memory of their mother, Mrs. Perry W. Harvey 1937.575


Born in a small village in Belgium, Paelinck attended a local drawing academy as a youth. His skill earned him a scholarship to study in Paris where he worked with Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825), the leading French neoclassical master and official court painter of Napoleon I. Paelinck later moved to Rome to study ancient art firsthand and to participate in the city's lively international art scene. Paelinck's attire shows him as a dandy, wearing fashionable, subtly colored clothes. Over his black suit, he wears a box-coat—a garment having a wide, velvet collar originally associated with coachmen but popular among artists in Rome during the early 19th century. The coat demonstrates Paelinck's skill at depicting textures. Likewise, the simplicity of his desk and chair—based on ancient Greek and Roman models—reflects the highest fashion of the time.

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