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Grandfather's Birthday
Louis-Gabriel-Eugène Isabey
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Although titled Grandfather’s Birthday, an inscription on the wooden support on the reverse of this small oak panel reads Le Nouveau Né (The Newborn), which may be a more appropriate title. We are looking at an intergenerational family group ranging from a young infant to an elderly man. The mix of ages is replicated by the dogs, which include a young puppy.

The son of the court portrait painter and miniaturist Jean-Baptiste Isabey, under whom he also trained, Louis-Gabriele-Eugène Isabey was a successful painter, lithographer and watercolourist who painted a diverse range of subjects including historical and genre pictures. This animated scene shows a miniaturist’s eye for detail and was most likely inspired by seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings of domestic life. The people wear historical costume that appears to date from the early seventeenth century, rather than contemporary clothes – an instance, perhaps, of a French fascination with the France of earlier times.

Key facts
Artist Louis-Gabriel-Eugène Isabey
Artist dates 1803 - 1886
Full title Grandfather's Birthday
Date made 1866
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 24.1 x 28.9 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by J.C.J. Drucker, 1910
Inventory number NG2714
Location in Gallery Not on display
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