The suitor in this painting, Eugène de Rastignac, is the protagonist in 27 novels from the Comédie Humaine. Rastignac is handsome, expertly displaying the art of seduction. A bold character he will do anything to integrate, desperately trying to belong to high society. One thing is for sure, Rastignac does not bend to social rules. He breathes ardor and is associated here with the pace of a magnificent horse. Though his eye appears soft, casually dropped below his right shoulder, his ears remain flat. This is a display of dominance, of alert restraint but also of intensity. Rastignac always achieves his ends, this belligerent aspect is revealed in his horns.
The humanity that we find in Rastignac is a result of the passionate anti-speciesism of the 19th century. The artist, Rachel Convers carried out extensive research to create him, meeting with a contemporary Eastern historian in order to be guided on the attire of that time. Taking care not to betray the dress code of his era Rachel devoted months to designing her works, celebrating dandyism at its finest.
This signed and numbered collector's portrait carries within the representation of powerful romantic literature. With a desire stay close to reality, Rachel elaborates the eternal aspect of her portraits with an intensity for timelessness and respect for the animal. All this and more has been achieved as you will discover when you look at Rastignac. He knows how to unearth new particulars, every time you look at him!
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