Sébastien Cornu, French painter, was born in Lyon on January 6, 1804. He was a pupil of Fleury Richard at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, where he won first prize for painting in 1820. He later worked with Ingres in Paris, and with Goodfond in Rome. After having exhibited some paintings in Lyon (1826-1828), he debuted at the Salon of Paris in 1831 with A Bacchante (presently at the Grenoble Art Museum). He then spent four years travelling in Asia before settling definitely in Paris in 1836. In 1857 he painted murals in the Church of St-Séverin, Paris. He obtained an Officer of the Legion of Honour medal in 1859 (same year he painted this portrait). In 1862 he was made director of the Campana collection, whose acquisition he had negotiated and which was soon after incorporated into the Louvre. He painted many works in a classical style (official portraits, religious and genre paintings, historical, mythological and military scenes). After the death of Hypolite Flandrin in 1864, he was commissioned by Napoleon III to complete the Transfiguration in the north transept of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris and decorate the chapel of St. Francis Xavier in the same church. He died in Longpont-sur-Orge (Essone) on October 23, 1870.
Lysandros Kautantzoglou (1811-1885) was a Greek architect trained in Rome and France. Based in Athens, he contributed greatly to the promotion and acceptance of neoclassicism in Greek architecture. Among its most outstanding buildings are the Arsakeion School, the Tositseion School, the National Technical University of Athens, the Agia Irini Church and the Agios Konstantinos Church.
Oil on canvas portrait painted in an oval format. An inscription (in French) on the back identifies the artist: "Painted by Sébastien Cornu in 1859 for his friend Lysandre Kafetandgioglou". The work is in good condition, with some minor traces of recent restoration.
Sources: Benezit Dictionary of Artists; Société Historique de Longpont.
Artist: Sébastien Cornu (1804-1870).
Inscription on the back.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Good condition.
Dimensions: 73 x 60 cm / 28 ¾ x 23 ¾ in.
Frame: 92 x 77 cm. / 36 ¼ x 30 ¼ in. Gilt wood, contemporary, classic style.