The artist completed this piece whilst in Brussels. There is a letter to the side of this imposing figure which actually displays his identity, though you will probably not be able to make out the lettering unless seeing the painting in person at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. That said, we have included a larger image of the painting in this page in order to get across some of the stunning detail that was added by the artist all those years ago. The gentleman is dressed smartly, holding his leather gloves in his right hand and a tall hat between his left arm. He wears a thick black coat with blue trousers and there are several additional layers upon his top half. He looks strong and confident, as if this rare event of sitting for such a prestigious artist would still not cause him any concern. Perhaps he has already seen enough in his life that such a meeting would offer him little to worry about.
Jacques Louis David was an artist who made use of key connections to promote his own career. He became political in how he would outwardly pick sides and this behaviour would ultimately lead to him being forced to relocate to Brussels after the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. Having openly supported the leader for many years and also included him within a number of paintings, he was now in an unfortunate position and ultimately would spend his remaining years here. He still carried on working, however, and also came across a number of other figures whilst here who had ended up in the very same predicament.
The painting is owned by the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen, Denmark. They have an interesting mix of architecture, antiques and European paintings. They also host regular cultural events all year round. As one would expect, Danish art is covered in detail, though in terms of artists related to Jacques Louis David, you will be interested in the French Collection, which also includes the likes of Edouard Manet, Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas (Little Dancer of Fourteen Years). Neoclassicist sculpture is also well covered, with items from the careers of Canova, Sergel, Carstens and Baily. The institution was opened in 1882 and now counts over 10,000 individual items within its ever-growing collection, some of which was purchased outright, whilst others were bequethed to the gallery by local collectors.