François Louis Thomas Francia (1772-1839)
Dutch shipping off the coast
Signed on sail: Francia, watercolour over traces of pencil with scratching out and touches of bodycolour, numbered on old mount: No 81
14 x 20.4 cm
Baron François Adolphe Akermann, régent of the Banque de France and his wife Louise Marie née Boquet de Saint-Simon, the Chateau de Coulonges, Rahay, Sarthe, France, by direct descent until 2018
This drawing comes from a friendship album started by Baron Akermann (1809-1890) for his wife after their marriage in 1836. There was a vogue for such albums in the nineteenth century and visitors would bring a drawing or watercolour as a symbol of friendship or to commemorate a visit. The magnificent leatherbound album contained an unmounted group of drawings and watercolours by artists such as Richard Parkes Bonington, Francia, William Wyld, Decamps, Vernet, Granville, Garneray, Coignet and others. The subjects ranged from marines to genre scenes, landscapes, still lifes, interiors.