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French, Portrait of a Man (Victor Considerant?)

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Man (Victor Considerant?)
Artist French
Date made after 1830
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 28.5 × 22 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Walter Sickert to the Tate Gallery, 1922; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG3686
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Man (Victor Considerant?)

This small portrait was attributed to the French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) when it was presented to the Tate Gallery by the British artist Walter Sickert in 1922. However, this attribution is now rejected on stylistic grounds. The sitter is traditionally identified as the French social reformer Victor Considerant (1808–1893). The broad face, hairstyle and drooping moustache can be seen in other confirmed portraits of him.

Considerant was a utopian socialist and a follower of Charles Fourier (1772–1837). He played an important role in the founding of the Fourierist movement, including establishing a colony in Texas in the mid-1850s based upon Fourier’s ideas, and in the promotion of socialist journalism and writing. His most important works include the three-volume La Destinée sociale (1834–44) and Principles of Socialism: Manifesto of 19th Century Democracy (1843). He is credited with defining concepts such as the right to work, direct democracy and proportional representation.

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