Portrait of a Gentleman and His Daughter, ca. 1810
Francois M. Guyol de Guiran (French, act. America, 1812–28)
Watercolor on ivory and painted paper; 3 1/2 x 4 9/16 in. (8.9 x 11.6 cm)
Purchase, Gift of The Chester Dale Collection, by exchange, 2001 (2001.95)
Guyol de Guiran is known exclusively by this signed work of striking quality and originality. The artist was one of the many French-émigré miniaturists who came to America in the early nineteenth century, when the market was especially strong for such delicate likenesses. The Museum's collection of works by these painters is extensive and greatly enhanced by this touchstone portrait. Guyol de Guiran worked in St. Louis (1812–ca. 1820) and in New Orleans (1822–28); this picture may have been made in either locale. It is presumably a portrayal of a father and daughter, given the age difference and the loving glance from the girl to her gentleman companion. An unusual feature of the tiny painting is the artist's joining of supports—the figures being painted on ivory, and the foliage on paper.