Theodore Richard mostly known as talented landscape painter. In this genre he achieved great success. From 1827 until his death in 1859 he exhibited regularly in the Salon, where he received the medal of Second Class in 1831. Later, he also became Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 1854.
In his early years he studied under Bertin, Ingres and Aubry and was deeply influenced with the art of the last two painters. The Portrait of Man in Dark Coat is signed and dated Richard 1819. The painter used here his common signature widely known due to The Benezit Dictionary. Later Richard added the letter “T” to the signature in order to avoid confusion with another painter, Fleury François Richard, who had also started to exhibit in the same time.
The calm composition of the portrait, the careless elegant cravat on the neck of the person and his laid-back gaze strongly resemble the best works of Aubry from 1810-1820. The absence of landscape fond notwithstanding compensated with the light, vivid monochrome background. The absence of details premised to the painter concentrated all his attention on the face of personality.
1819 was a very special year in the biography of the painter. He was working as an engineer in Bordeaux, and in 1819 he met young Jacques Raymond Brascassat,who was 14 years old then. Benezit informs: Richard séduit par les extraordinaires disposition du jeune garçon, devint son maître, son père adoptif. After that meeting, Richard started to work more intensively with a painting and he became a teacher for young Brascassat, who had also become a prolific landscape painter.