The inscription ‘Au Docteur Desnos’ (to Doctor Desnos) most likely refers to the eminent physician Ernest Desnos (1853-1925) who probably commissioned the painting. Laissement has also included him in the scene, situating him between the two cardinals. Whilst the two cardinals are engaged in their discussion, Desnos appears far more concerned by the fact that the visitor is leaning on the chair for support. Ernest Desnos was awarded croix d'officier de la légion d'honneur and the red accessory denoting this prestigious medal can be seen on his lapel.
Henri Laissement was a portrait and genre painter born in Paris in 1854. In 1872, at the age of 18 he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts studying under Alexandre Cabanel (1823-89) who greatly influenced his drawing technique. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1879 and continued to exhibit there regularly until 1912. He received a number of accolades over the years including honourable mention awards in 1882 and 1889, a third class medal in 1898, a bronze medal in 1900, and a second class medal in 1905.
In 1884 he became a member of the Salon des Artistes Francais. After initially focusing on portraits, around the late 1880’s or early 1890s Laissement started to produce genre scenes featuring Cardinals of the Catholic Church. His humorous and gently satirical paintings proved a popular subject with his French audience and he became one of the leading painters of these types of works. In addition to paintings, he also produced a number of etchings for a collection of poems.
His paintings became popular in the United States, selling many through the American Art Association Galleries in New York. Laissement died in Paris on 12 April 1921. A number of his works can be found in private and public art collections including the Musée d’art Roger-Quilliot, Clermont-Ferrand, France, the Louvre Museum, Paris and Syracuse University Art Collection, USA.
|Presentation||The painting is housed in a new, English made gilt frame which is in excellent condition.|
|Condition||As with all of our original antique oil paintings, this work is offered in ready to hang gallery condition, having been professionally cleaned, restored and revarnished.|
|Image Size||30.5 inches x 43.5 inches (78cm x 110.5cm)|
|Framed Size||41.5 inches x 54.5 inches (105.5cm x 138.5cm)|