26 August 2010


In my series on Top eBay Chess Items by Price, it took more than four months to find a painting worth featuring. Now I find a second painting within a month. The first was Casanova Y Estorach, and the second is pictured below. The eBay item was titled 'Antique Chess Game Interior Scene Genre Oil Painting' and sold for US $1,525.00 after receiving 59 bids.

The item, listed in categories 'Art from Dealers & Resellers > Paintings' and 'Antiques > Primitives', carried the following description, written in a flowery style that is typical of eBay art items.

You are bidding on an Antique Oil Painting in Gilded Carved Frame. This piece is a RARE FIND due to its size, age and beauty and is an original oil painting that was signed by who we believe is VERY WELL listed artist Francois Dumont (1850-?) who is listed in the Davenport, Askart, Artprice and various other art indexes. This is a very beautiful subject and is an original Oil on Canvas that depicts a beautiful interior scene from an earlier time period of a chess game with each person sitting and standing with observation.

This could have been family or friends sitting down conversing with beautiful archtectural designs with tapestry fabrics along the windows and nice objects D'Art near a beautiful fireplace mantle throughout the painting.. This was done with such fine detail in both color and clarity with the distinctive characteristics of their facial features and expressions on their faces down to their beautiful clothing of the time period and their mannerism was so well founded with such fine detail of all the beautiful objects and the interior scene with nice large open windows of a beautiful landscape on the horizon and the artist giving us a depiction of a nice day.

Much time and love went into this painting with beautiful colors that were very well blended and even the interior scene of different objects in the surrounding were done down to the finest details. This has beautiful brush strokes with tonalism and shading with the walls and shelving and the detail of the interior architectural designs which could be a form of expression of Love, Family, Traditions, Happiness and can mean so many things to so many different people. The beauty of art is that there are many different ways of looking at this painting and the beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

Because of its size this is a beautiful painting that can be accented in a Hallway or Foyer, Dining Room, Study or Parlor, Bedroom or Boudior, or in a guest room and anywhere else throughout your home that I PROMISE will be a topic of conversation and is an heirloom quality piece with investment value as a listed artist. The artist was a TRUE MASTER, because we see great care and SKILL in the painting down to its finest details. With paintings of this caliber you can see the amount of care and attention the artist put into the piece and accomplished quite a bit here.

The painting itself is very old and please keep in mind this is an antique has craquelure throughout due to its natural age with paint flaking and minor imperfections and wear consistant with its age that may need some professional touch up at your discretion. The frame is nicely gilded and recessed with floral carved ancathus leaves and also has minor imperfections with some gilt wear as well that is consistant with its age and we believe it to be original to the painting. This piece was VERY WELL made with quality that surpasses ANYTHING that is made today but Please understand that this is an antique and has some minor imperfections on it with its age but overall its in excellent shape. This piece overall measures approx 33 inches wide and approx 29 inches high.

Wikipedia has a page on Fran├žois Dumont (1751–1831), 'a French painter of portrait miniatures'. Furthermore,

A younger brother, Tony Dumont, was also a miniature painter, a pupil of his brother, a frequent exhibitor and the recipient of a medal from the Academy in 1810. Each artist signed with the surname only, and there is some controversy concerning the attribution to each artist of his own work.

The image I used above is a cropped version of the painting where the artist's signature is not visible. The eBay item included a detail of the signature that looks to me like 'Fr.Dumar...', where the paint is missing from the '...' portion. There appear to be 2-3 letters missing and the last letter is almost certainly an 'l'. The odds are that this was not done by the same Francois Dumont who is represented in the Louvre. If so, it would have sold for much, much more. Whoever the artist was, it's still a very attractive piece.

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