Gibson v. Cranage

39 Mich. 49 (1878)



Where an agreement was made with an artist for a portrait that need not be taken or paid for if unsatisfactory, however good the picture is, the customer is the only judge whether it suits him or not, and if not, he cannot be compelled to pay for it.


Plaintiff entered into a contract with defendant to make and execute a large portrait of defendant's deceased daughter. The parties agreed that defendant would not have to pay for the portrait if he was not perfectly satisfied with it in every way. Upon delivery of the portrait, defendant found it to be unsatisfactory, refused to accept it, and refused to accept any similar picture from plaintiff. Plaintiff sued to recover the costs associated with creating the portrait. Judgment was entered in favor of defendant. Plaintiff appealed.


Can payment for a portrait be made to depend on the personal satisfaction of the purchaser?




Judgment in favor of defendant was affirmed because the contract between the parties was express and the parties agreed that defendant was the only person who had the right to decide if the portrait was satisfactory, thus although the picture may have been excellent, defendant was not required to accept it or pay for it because he found the picture to be unsatisfactory. However good the picture is, the customer is the only judge whether it suits him or not.

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