[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]
PENFOLD, Frank (Francis) Crawford [1849-1921]
Portrait of a Man / The Advocat
oil on canvas / 20 inches by 14 inches
Frank Penfold was the son of William Penfold and was brought up in Lockport, New York. Trained under his father and having successfully exhibited two paintings at a Buffalo Society of Artists exhibition, Penfold emigrated to France, settling in Pont-Aven in Brittany, among a growing colony of anglophonic artists. He also attended the Académie Julian in Paris and became known for genre paintings and portraits.
For two decades, Penfold commuted between France and Buffalo, NY. But distraught by the 1915 death of his wife Marie Jeanne Gloanec (a very Breton name), Penfold drowned himself on 2 April 1921.
There have been several credible proposals for the subject of this handsome painting but it is commonly referred to as “The Advocat”, a 19th century French title for a lawyer.