Portrait of Smoking Man, Fine 19th C. John Henry Sylvester British Watercolor Drawing

Regular price $165.00

A terrific late 19th c. watercolor portrait, of a manner that makes me think of Manet or John Singer Sargent, etc, with an equivalent sort of confidence and sense of ease about it. It appears to be signed John Henry Sylvester at the bottom and dated what looks to be 1896 (?)--which points perhaps to the British artist of the same name, active in the last few decades of the 19th c. and by whom there is one portrait in the National Portrait Gallery in London--but the sensibility is quite different so I am skeptical. Whatever the case, clearly it was painted by an artist who knew what they were doing, with a great deal of character and attitude conveyed with immediacy. Personally, I love that it appears to have been folded in sixths, carried around, and much toned/stained over the years, a history that I think melds with the drawing itself in a really wonderful way, making for an even richer portrait. 

Framed, behind glass: 15 9/16" x 12 3/4". Watercolor itself measures @ 8" x 6 1/2". Toning, folds and one small hole as documented, which to my eye just enhance it. In a heavy, roughly period frame, into which I believe it was fairly recently placed, with clean, new backing. There are holes in the back of the frame for wiring and hanging.