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Born into a family of physicians in Picerno, then in the Kingdom of Naples, Joseph-Nicolas-Blaise Forlenze (1751–1833) was a pioneering ophthalmologist and surgeon based in Paris, where this near life-size portrait of him was exhibited at the Salon of 1808.
Facing us directly, Dr Forlenze displays the orders and decorations of the Légion d'Honneur and the Order of St Michel. He became a member of these orders after 1807. His head and shoulders, including the decorations on the lapel, were painted on a small canvas that was subsequently fitted into the full-length portrait.
Oil on canvas
H 209.6 x W 128.3 cm
Presented by Frédéric Mélé, 1908