PAIR OF PORTRAITS
Oil on poplar panels
11.5” x 13”
A pair of beautifully detailed portraits of a couple, probably Virginians, by the itinerant artist, Francis Cezeron. Cezeron advertised his portrait services in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania from about 1805. The likenesses are drawn in profile and bear a stylistic similarity to the early work of fellow Lancaster resident and painter Jacob Eichholtz; it has been suggested that Cezeron may have taught Eichholtz to paint. The majority of Cezeron’s known subjects lived in the inland areas of the American backcountry, and his travel seems to have followed portions of the Great Wagon Road.
The MESDA Craftsman Database has documented his advertisements in Frederick, Maryland, Fredericksburg, Virginia, and Hagerstown, Maryland. He also worked in western Pennsylvania and eventually moved west to Kentucky, where he died in 1828. His work is easily recognizable by his controlled, tight execution depicting sitters in half-length profile in an oval frame. Both portraits were recorded by the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in 1977.