Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of Two Children 1730s

Enoch Seeman 

Portrait of Two Children, Enoch Seeman
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Oil on canvas
18th Century
22 1/2 x 30 3/4 inches 57.2 x 78.1 cm
 
In this colourful double portrait by Enoch Seeman, the artist has highlighted both the youthfulness and restraint of his fashionable sitters. Although the identities of the subjects are unknown, they are believed to be brother and sister from a prosperous family. Seeman's skilful accentuation of the richness of their dress, the ornate embroidery of the boy's waistcoat and the smooth textured pink silk of the girl's dress speaks visually of their social status. The telling incorporation of a sprig of blossoms also serves as a reminder of the subjects's delicate and fleeting youth.

Born in Danzig in 1694 Enoch Seeman or Zeeman was one of a family of painters. Brought to London by his father in 1704, Zeeman undertook a number of private commissions before enjoying royal patronage in the 1730's. During this prolific period, the artist produced full-length likenesses of George I, George II and Queen Caroline as well as lively, large scale works such as that of Sir James Dashwood. Zeeman died in 1744 shortly after completing his largest portrait group of Lady Cust and Her Nine Children.
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