Unknown

Old Man of the Sea (with a "Mad Men" story behind it), 19th Century
Oil
21 x 16.50 in
$4,000
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This stunning portrait of a seaman has a bit of a story behind it. I found it being offered by an old man in Manhattan, and a client here (a city councilman and president of the Sugar Bowl) was very interested in it. We tried to get the owner to come down on a price a bit, but he wouldn't budge. Seems his grandfather (and he himself was old) had bought it in an antique shop in northern Italy ages back, and it had been passed down in the family. My friend's brother, Brian Batt, is an actor who starred in Mad Men in addition to many films, cable shows and playing big roles on Broadway, and he was headed up to NYC for a show, so we had him actually go meet this old man and look personally at the painting to see if it was as powerful and compelling in person as in the photo we had seen of it. He said unequivocally "yes." So we paid for it and he flew it back to New Orleans with him. At any rate, my friend is semi-retired now and downsizing, and letting go of a lot of his large art collection because he simple can't fit it any longer. Thus, this superb portrait for sale - you look into this guy's eyes and you feel like you know him. How few portraits can achieve this . . . The old guy could tell me nothing about the painter, and though there appears to be a trace of a signature, it's impossible to make out if it is one. It's been very professionally framed; dimensions given include frame. Fine condition.