ALFRED DUMONT (1828 – 1894): Portrait of a young girl

Signed on the right, oil on panel, dimensions 27 x 20 cm (panel), 36 x 31 cm (frame). Price € 1.950.

We have noticed how many people are fascinated by this small panel depicting a young lady in local dress. Perhaps it is the off-setting contrast between her somewhat timid appearance, a bit like a maid, and the well-being that speaks of her jewelry, hair and pale skin color. We can only respect greatly the Swiss painter Alfred Dumont, whose artistry was great enough to convey so much personality on such a relatively modest panel. Here we find an interesting parallel with the painter Albert Anker, with whom Dumont was good friends and who is loved because of his animated portrayal of especially young children - for example his famous "Kleine Kartoffelschälerin".

The painter Alfred Dumont was born in the Swiss Baulmes. After graduating in law, Dumont decided to become a painter and he became apprenticed to the Lutheran history and portrait painter Jean Léonard Lugardon (1801-1884). Dumont continued his studies in Düsseldorf where the 'Düsseldorfer Malerschule' by the landscape painter and Italianist Oswald Achenbach (1827-1905) caused a stir. Dumont completed his studies in Paris as a pupil of the famous French-Swiss painter Charles Gleyre (1806-1874). As a teacher at the 'Atelier de Delaroche', Gleyre, who had traveled in Italy and the Orient for years, had a great influence. It is possible that Dumont got to know the well-known Swiss painter Albert Anker (1831-1910) in his studio. Dumont, like Gleyre, was a much-traveled man and would eventually make a world tour.

Dumont distinguished himself as a landscape and genre painter and was a skilled draftsman. He exhibited his work both in Switzerland and in France. Museums in Geneva, Basel, Bern and Winterthur own works by his hand. A large part of his drawings and studies can be found in the collection of the 'Société des Arts' in Geneva.

The portrait of the 'Maiden of Graubünden' as we call it is an unmistakable masterpiece. The face, with a touchingly tender gaze, a somewhat timid pinched mouth, the beautifully painted ear and the light down at the temples, accentuated by the shiny pearl, Dumont has painted it all in a phenomenal way. In short, a portrait of museum quality. The panel is in excellent condition, we have renewed the varnish, making it look very fresh despite its age.

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