Collecting Portraits on a Budget


In the captivating realm of art collecting, the allure of 19th-century portraiture reigns supreme. It’s a world filled with elegance, history, and the timeless charm of capturing a moment in time through the skillful strokes of a brush. While the names of iconic artists like Sargent and Van Gogh may seem out of reach for collectors on a budget, fear not! There exists a trove of lesser-known, yet equally talented portrait artists from the 19th century whose works can be acquired without breaking the bank. Let’s embark on a journey to uncover these hidden gems and explore the affordable 19th-century portrait artists worth adding to your collection.

George Dawe (1781-1829):

Known for his portraits of Russian generals during the Napoleonic Wars, Dawe’s works offer a fascinating glimpse into a pivotal period in history. His keen attention to detail and ability to capture the personalities of his subjects make his portraits both historically significant and aesthetically pleasing.

Charles Joshua Chaplin (1825-1891):

A French portrait painter of the mid-19th century, Chaplin’s works exude elegance and refinement. His portraits often feature fashionable society figures of the time, rendered with a delicate touch and subtle sense of character.

James Sant (1820-1916):

Sant was a British portrait painter known for his sensitive depictions of children and young women. His works often convey a sense of innocence and charm, making them ideal additions to any collection seeking a touch of sweetness and nostalgia.

Theodore Gericault (1791-1824):

While best known for his dramatic masterpiece “The Raft of the Medusa,” Gericault also produced a number of compelling portraits throughout his career. His intense, emotionally charged works offer collectors a glimpse into the tumultuous spirit of the Romantic era.

Francesco Hayez (1791-1882):

An Italian Romantic painter, Hayez’s portraits are imbued with a sense of drama and emotion. His works often feature historical and literary figures, rendered with a lush, painterly style that captures the imagination of the viewer.

Joseph Highmore (1692-1780):

Highmore was an English portrait painter known for his sensitive and sympathetic depictions of his sitters. His works offer collectors a glimpse into the social and cultural milieu of 18th-century England, rendered with a keen eye for detail and nuance.

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749-1803):

One of the few successful female portrait painters of her time, Labille-Guiard’s works offer collectors a unique perspective on 18th-century France. Her portraits are characterized by their elegance and sophistication, capturing the grace and beauty of her subjects with finesse and skill.

Nikolai Ge (1831-1894):

Ge was a Russian Realist painter known for his sensitive portraits and genre scenes. His works offer collectors a glimpse into the social and political realities of 19th-century Russia, rendered with a keen sense of empathy and humanity.

Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807):

Kauffman was a Swiss Neoclassical painter known for her elegant portraits and historical allegories. Her works offer collectors a glimpse into the cultural and intellectual ferment of late 18th-century Europe, rendered with a delicate touch and refined sensibility.

James Tissot (1836-1902):

Tissot was a French painter known for his stylish portraits and genre scenes. His works offer collectors a glimpse into the fashionable world of 19th-century Paris, rendered with a keen eye for detail and a playful sense of humor.

As collectors, we have the privilege of exploring the rich legacy of 19th-century portrait artists and discovering the hidden treasures that lie within. While the names of famous masters may command hefty price tags, there exists a wealth of affordable options waiting to be unearthed. So why not embark on your own journey of discovery and explore the captivating world of 19th-century portraiture? Who knows what treasures you may find along the way.

Looking for 19th-century portraits to add to your collection? Browse our curated selection from around the world!

Alexandra Jones
Alexandra Jones
Alexandra studied Art History at Miami University before attaining an MA in European History from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She worked in research and intelligence positions internationally before establishing Houselore, where she puts her skillset to work finding unique historical objects and properties.

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