Superb antique French equestrian horse portrait. Oil painting on canvas. Beautiful rendering with exquisite detail, depicting two thoroughbreds running free in an open field, one black and the other white with necks entwined. Signed and dated lower left, Combes 1913. Unframed. In very good antique condition. Darkened varnish. Measures 25 5/8" x 21 1/2".
The stretcher bearing a stamp of an anchor for Parisian art supply shop Lefranc et Cie. Art supply shops like Lefranc et Cie sold pre-primed canvases already mounted to wooden armatures (strainers or stretchers) as well as canvas by the meter.
Located in the first arrondissement near the Musée du Louvre, the company's origins date to 1720 when Charles Laclef began selling pigments and spices from a storefront near the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the Left Bank. Members of the Laclef family ran the company until 1821, when it merged with Marolle, becoming Marolle-Laclef. The brothers Alphonse and Jules Lefranc joined the business in 1836 and assumed control of it two years later. In 1839 they expanded their offerings to include ink, paint, and other art supplies manufactured at their factory in Grenelle, just southwest Paris. Lefranc et Cie became the company's official name in 1853.