Contemplation by Belgian Painter Jean-François Portaels (1818 – 1895); Oriental style and portrait painter.
Contemplation is a beautiful and gentle Orientalist style portrait painting of a seated young women that is staring into the distance in deep thought.
She is wearing large silver earrings with an embedded green gemstone; and on ther right hand a matching ring on her fourth finger and another silver ring on her fifth finger with a red gemstone; while on her left hand she is wearing two gold rings one each on her index and second fingers.
The young lady is dressed in a blue gown with patterned cold and red cuffs; and is wearing a multi-colored kerchief of orange, light red and white geometric patterns and lines on her head, while holding up to her chest with her right hand a complementary folded large white linen with red stripes and a gold square at the top.
This is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.
Info Below Derived From Wikipedia.org
Jean-François was born in the Flemish Brabant Belgian municipality Vilvoorde, to the mayor of Vilvoorde a rich brewer; and spent much of his time growing up drawing scenes of his native town.
In 1836 his father sent him to the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels; which was established in 1711 and he studied under the Belgian artist François-Joseph Navez (1787 – 1869), who himself was a student of the famous Neoclassical French painter Jacques-Louis David (1748 – 1825).
Five years later Jean-François journeyed to Paris and enrolled at the French Academy, Ecole des Beaux-Arts to continue his studies; studing in his spare time the old masters in the Louvre, as well as visiting the Paris Salons for inspiration and to research artistic trends in France.
At the time Orientalism was becoming a popular trend in the arts, and this had an influence on Jean-Francois; also at this time he became a student of the historical French painter Paul Delaroche (1797 – 1856).
In 1842 on his return to Belgium he won the Grand Prix de Rome, and the money he made from this win allowed him to travel to Italy; where he visited Venice, Florence and Rome, and then later to Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Judea, Spain, Hungary and Norway.
During this trip he had the ability to paint portraits of some of the prominent individuals at the time, such as the Viceroy of Egypt.
After 5 years Jean returned to Belgium and accepted the appointment as the director of the Academy in the Flemish Municipality of Ghent.
Jean-Francois was a prolific and versatile artist that painted across a broad spectrum of genres, including historical paintings, biblical paintings, portrait paintings, landscape paintings, genre paintings and Orientalist paintings with along with portraiture was his main focus.