Historical Portraits Picture Archive

A portrait miniature of a Lady, wearing wide-brimmed hat with ostrich feathers 

Richard Crosse (1742-1810)

A portrait miniature of a Lady, wearing wide-brimmed hat with ostrich feathers, Richard Crosse
Watercolour on ivory
18th Century
Oval, 4 1/8 in (105mm.) high (restored hairline crack right hand side)
Vienna, Albertina, Internationale Miniaturen-Austellung, 1924
To view portrait miniatures by Richard Crosse for sale, please go to www.philipmould.com.

This impressively large and ambitious portrait by Richard Crosse is an example of how close his working method was to that of his contemporary and rival, Richard Cosway (1742-1821). It is impossible to know whether this image was intended as a portrait drawing, much in the vein of the work of Cosway, Henry Edridge and William Wood or simply an abandoned project. Clearly, it was not discarded by Crosse or by subsequent owners, who received confirmation from Leo Schidlof as to the artist.

Crosse was born a deaf mute and initially took up miniature painting as an interested amateur. His talent soon became apparent and he won a premium at the Society of Arts in 1758, going on to study at Shipley’s Drawing School. His clientele included the royal family, as well as aristocratic sitters. He also painted many portraits of his own family, including his brother who cared for him. The Victoria and Albert Museum own the artist’s painter’s box, together with his ivory palette. A transcript of his sitter’s list from the original ledger was published by the Walpole Society.

Two further similar portrait miniatures by Crosse of unknown ladies have been through the salerooms, one Ex. Coll. Mrs. F.H.O. de la Hey, Sotheby’s, 27th May 1968, lot 140; the other, Peggy Hickman Collection, Christie’s, 12th May 1993, lot 131.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.