This massive oil on canvas is a case in point. It is notable not only for its size – 3ft 2in x 6ft 4in (97cm x 1.95m) – but also its subject.
As indicated by an inscription on the frame, the scene depicts the public ball at a celebration at Saint-Domingue, that was a French colony in the West of the island of Hispaniola, now Haiti. It was held on the occasion of the signing of the treaty between Great Britain and the American colonies, France and Spain, in Versailles on September 3, 1783, which ended the war in America and recognised the independence of the United States.
Saint-Domingue supported France during the conflict and the painting depicts a lively scene showing the population dancing, a bandstand with orchestra, a firework display being prepared on the beach and flag-decked boats in the harbour.
The painting, signed and dated 1947 on the frame, will appear in the auction at Ivoire Troyes in the French city on September 30 where it is estimated at €15,000-20,000