Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Chevalier D’Eon

Yesterday this rather strange portrait went on display at Philip Mould & Company, 29 Dover Street, London, for five days only. Art sleuth Philip Mould spotted it in a New York saleroom last November, part of the collection of Ruth Stone. It was billed as "Portrait of a Woman with a Feather in her Hat" and mistakenly attributed to Gilbert Stuart. A gentle clean exposed a distinctive 5 0’clock shadow! Philip Mould has since established that the portrait was painted in the 1790s by theatrical artist Thomas Stewart and depicts the spy, diplomat and transvestite Chevalier D’Eon. The painting had been lost since 1926. The National Portrait Gallery is now considering acquiring it as a landmark work. Click the title link to read the full story behind this find.


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