Portrait of a Woman – Attributed to Peter Michal Bohúň – Circa 1850
Attractive Biedermeier period portrait depicting a woman in an elegant yellow dress and a black lace shawl, draped low over her shoulders and fastened with a brooch. She is posed standing, leaning her right elbow on an armchair and holding a fan. This portrait is half of a pair, along with the Portrait of a Gentleman, by the same artist. Well-executed oil on canvas painting, its composition, style and the artist’s love of detail are all signature qualities found in the works of the Slovak painter Peter Michal Bohúň (1822-1879), famous for his portraits; he usually painted them in pairs.
Peter Michal Bohúň, born 29 September 1822 in Veličná, was a Slovak painter, primarily of portraits, although he also did landscapes and altarpieces.
His father was a Lutheran minister. In 1843, he decided that he wanted to be an artist and entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His teacher there was the German history painter, Christian Ruben who, at that time, was also the Academy's Director. His father died in 1844, cutting off his financial support, so he sought and obtained the patronage of a nobleman from Orava named Michał Kubín. In addition to painting, he studied lithography and made some illustrations for the botanical dictionary of Jan Svatopluk Presl.
In 1854, he and his family moved to Liptovský Mikuláš, where he spent eleven years as a drawing teacher at the Lutheran girls' school, dabbled in photography and decorated curtains for amateur theater groups. Deeply in debt, he left Slovakia in 1865 and took his family to Bielsko-Biała in Galicia, where he died 20 May 1879. The cause of death was pneumonia.
Artist: Attributed to Peter Michal Bohúň (1822-1879).
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition. Restored.
Dimensions: 73 x 60 cm. / 28 ¾ x 23 ½ in.
Frame: 91 x 77 cm. / 35 ¾ x 30 ¼ in. Gilt wood and stucco. 19th century.