Dress the Part Posted on May 10, 2013 by Jeff Burks Portrait presumed to be Alfred de La Chaussee Musée du Berry – Bourges, France 19th century oil on canvas Roubo bench in the dining room? Anything is possible if you dress the part. -Jeff Burks Share this:PrintEmailFacebookTumblrPinterestTwitterLike this:Like Loading...
19 thoughts on “Dress the Part”
Is that a chisel being used as a blade plane on the right hand side of the picture?
It is a depiction of a mortise being chopped as though the subject had just set down his mallet and turned to face the painter. Note how the planes are all overflowing with shavings as well. Like all oil paintings, the scene is staged.
“Like all oil paintings, the scene is staged.”
I really did laugh out loud.
This man is obviously a bachelor.
I have a bench in the sunroom (and am married 20 years). As long as I keep things tidy there is no problem.
But yeah, he looks like a bachelor.
The bench looks a little tall for his comfortable use. Also, is that a drawer under the bench top?
A single drawer under the benchtop is a common French detail. Check plate 11.
I asked my wife what I would have to wear in order to put the workbench in the ‘saloon.’ Her response: “It’s not what you would have to wear, it’s what I would have to wear. A shroud.”
Did you mean salon? Otherwise all sorts of hilarious images ensue. 😉
That pretty much looks like my shop except I use brass candlesticks. Jiggers, (my man), keeps the shavings swept away.
He’s probably a bachelor because he’s a young boy. The cap sitting on the chair would be worn by a boy, not a man. And the chair would not fit him either if he were the owner of the house.
Also, I believe it’s obviously a boy, not a grown man. His clothing is typical of what an affluent teen might wear once he’s been “breeched”. Odd setting for a formal portrait – perhaps showing some remaining republican affection for the common tradesman? The son of a joiner made-good (very, very good indeed)? Hobby woodworking wasn’t unknown. I can’t find anything on de la Chausee.
Likewise could not find anything on Alfred de La Chaussee? Jeff, can you help us out here?
(translation from a brief obituary published in the 1860’s)
Alfred La Chausée — 1833-1859.
Distinguished archaeologist, too prematurely lost to science, Alfred the Chaussée also occupied himself with numismatics and formed a sizable collection of coins. The bulk of his collection consisted of 13th century coins from Northern France. He excavated at road repairs in the city of Bourges, the leveling of the old fairground bottom at Séraucourt, also to Bourges, where there was a Gallo-Roman cemetery, excavations occurred in 1856 in la Folie, near Saint-Satur, due to the flooding of the Loire (river)…
He was 26 years old when he died, and I don’t know the circumstances of his death. The painting was probably commissioned in the late 1840’s by his father. I suspect that Alfred’s joinery training was influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s book “Émile, ou De l’éducation” (1762), which expressed the view that mechanical knowledge was an important part of the education of a young gentleman, and that all boys should be apprenticed to a trade.
The French King Louis XVI (executed during the Revolution) famously spent his spare time lock/black smithing. Perhaps his father, the Daufin, read Rousseau as well.
Dude’s so rugged…
Wasn’t this a plate for one of the early issues of the French Woodworking Magazine Travai du Bois Populaire? It took a while to assemble the magazine, obviously, maybe a decade for each issue. But the quality…
Did they remove the boy’s step stool for the portrait?
When I plane, I always dress for the occasion…
Stay thirsty my friends!
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