Medium: charcoal and white chalk
Size: Approx 5 inches/13 cm high
Ownership: Private owner
This small portrait is inscribed “Sept 1849 Boulogne s/Mer”. Attribution and previous sales details of the drawing make reference to Crowe’s sketch of Boulogne sur Mer of 1846 which is similarly inscribed and part of The Tate collection. Comparison of the handwriting on both does bear some scrutiny.
The portrait itself is not signed, but the name “Eyre Crowe” is written in pencil on the back. It does not appear to be in his own hand and probably signifies an attribution to him at some point.
This, together with the inscriptions, date and stylistic consideration of the work including the heavy eyelid look of the subject, which tends to be a characteristic of Crowe’s portraiture, would appear to lend some weight to the attribution. He is also known to have spent time at Boulogne around this date in his life.
Without further provenance however, it is only possible to say this could be one of his early works