Mr & Mrs Blanchoir

Francis Torond


A rare bust-length double silhouette painted in Torond’s early “black” style most probably as a marriage portrait given that the couple are enclosed within overlapping hearts. The couple are named as Mr & Mrs Blanchar (or possibly Blanchoir).

The gentleman is wearing a bound pigtail wig and a frilled chemise whilst his wife has flowers on her corsage and is wearing an elaborate dormeuse hat with ribbon bows at the front. Her hair is arranged in a banging chignon with a thick loop of hair doubled back and tied with ribbon.

The profiles are painted on paper within a watercolour border and are individually signed “by Torond” under the bust-line. A clipped ink inscription affixed to the conservation backing board adds “Torond. An English Engraver / —-? draughtsman practising / about the middle of the 18th Cent. of whom / nothing is known …”.

The silhouette is housed in a period oak frame with carved borders.

A man of many artistic talents, Francis Torond (ca.1743-1812) only painted silhouettes for about ten years during the late 1770s and into the 1780s. His earliest work was completed in the “black” style; later he worked using light and dark shades (clare-obscure) as can be seen in his conversation pieces. Works by Torond rarely come on the market as tragically many of his conversation pieces were reportedly lost in a warehouse fire in 1919.

Item Ref. 5545

Size: framed, 236 x 318mm (9¼ x 12⅝")

Provenance: Leonard Morgan May collection, Sotheby's 1985