Portrait of a Young Man in Court Dress

Cazes et Fils
(Second half of the 18th century) French
Title Portrait of a Young Man in Court Dress
Category Recently Sold
Medium & Size Oil on oval canvas: 26x21 in. Framed size: 32x27in.
Price Band £5,000 - £10,000
Location Hungerford

The painting is signed Cazes fils and dated 1773. There is little record of the two sons of the French master Pierre Jacques Cazes (1676-1754); Pierre-Michel Cazes and Jacques Nicholas Cazes but they studied at the Academy De Saint-Luc in 1750 and 1754.The former exhibited history paintings at the academy 1751-53 and there are rare portrait miniatures under his name ‘M.Cazes’.

The brothers Cazes’s were ’’Bourgeois de Paris “and are known to have painted oil portraits of prominent French patrons (The French poet Andre Chenier a Carcassonne ca.1765-1773), miniatures, engravings and pastels in the second half of the 18th century (Ref: Benezit, Dictionary of Artists and Neil Jefferies, Dictionary of Pastellist’s).

This fine portrait was originally in a very finely carved mahogany panel which was made for it in the late 19th Century .Apparently it came from a fine English Country house where it was placed above the fireplace in the music room, and has been traditionally identified as being Mozart(1756-91 as a young man aged 17 years.

The Mozarteum in Salzburg have recently discussed ‘this fine portrait of scholarly interest showing a likeness to the composor’ but as we have no written provenance directly connecting the artist or the portrait to the composer we  therefore could not prove without doubt the sitter was Mozart. But on the other hand the Mozarteum could not prove without doubt the portrait is not Mozart….

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