18th-Century Family Portrait With Backgammon


  • £6,995.00
  • €8,233 Euro
  • $8,568 US Dollar

United Kingdom

DC Member since 2020
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18th-Century Family Portrait With Backgammon

A fine late 18th-century group portrait depicting a family playing backgammon. It’s an unusual piece with an intriguing mystery to unravel.

Firstly, it’s rare to find a group portrait of three figures playing backgammon - so why did the artist opt for this composition? Often, you’ll find a family depicted within a room as this can highlight their wealth and status. But on this occasion, the background is a simple one with the focus on the table. The backgammon pieces are observed very well and you can even read the numbers on each dice.

Secondly, it’s tempting to consider that there was originally a fourth figure between the daughter and the mother. It’s easy to imagine a son standing with his right hand resting on his mother’s arm. Or another daughter with her left arm around her sister. But if this is the case, then why were they painted out? A family scandal perhaps?

Our research continues and we’d be delighted to hear your views. The painting is unsigned but we’re exploring whether it could be a work by Danish artist, Vigilius Eriksen (1722-1782).

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 50” x 40” / 130cm x 101cm
Year of creation: c. 1770
Provenance: Sweden
Condition: Generally very presentable following a light restoration. Craquelure is present throughout but the paint is stable. Frame with some scuff and abrasions.


  • H: 101cm (39.76in)
  • W: 130cm (51.18in)
  • D: 3cm (1.18in)


c. 1770

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Brave Fine Art is a boutique art dealership based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Established in 2017, our clients include private collectors and interiors designers throughout the UK, USA and Canada. We tend to focus on decorative art that captures the imagination - from monumental 17th-century portraits through to characterful vintage landscapes. Every piece in the collection has an interesting story to tell and we work hard to discover the hidden history behind each one.

You may have seen us mentioned in popular magazines such as Vogue, Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. It’s always exciting to spot a piece we recognise in a beautiful home or place of work. Do feel free to contact us as we’re always happy to share further information. We also offer a finding service if you’re working on a project for a client or need that special piece for your home.

Private viewings are most welcome and available on request.

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