Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of an unknown Gentleman wearing a brown coat, white waistcoat and cravat 

Samuel John Stump (1785-1863)

Portrait miniature of an unknown Gentleman wearing a brown coat, white waistcoat and cravat, Samuel John Stump
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Watercolour on ivory
18th Century
Oval, 3 1/8 in (80 mm) high
 
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Samuel John Stump was probably born in America (a suggestion backed up by the old lists of members of the Sketching Society who refer to him as ‘The American Stump’), but there is little known about his early life. Loved by the theatrical community, Stump painted portrait miniatures of the leading actors and actresses of the day, including a portrait of Henry Siddons, son of Sarah Siddons (now in the National Portrait Gallery London). Painted at around the same date as the present miniature, it is similarly forthright, yet sensitive, in its depiction of character.
Stump’s oeuvre was not restricted to painting portrait miniatures. A superb oil of Charles John Kean is also in the National Portrait Gallery and clearly demonstrates his skill in handling a large and complex composition. Stump also painted landscapes, exhibiting with the ‘Oil and Watercolour Society’ and the ‘British Institution’.
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