Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of Master Curtis, wearing blue coat and cream and orange striped waistcoat 

William Gwynn (fl.1807-1817)

Portrait miniature of Master Curtis, wearing blue coat and cream and orange striped waistcoat, William Gwynn
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Watercolour on ivory
19th Century
Oval, 2 11/16 inches, 6.5cm high
 
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Gilded metal frame with rolled edge, the reverse glazed to reveal inscription.


Very little is known of the life and work of William Gwynn which is quite extraordinary considering the level of skill and delicacy displayed in the present work.

Gwynn exhibited several portrait miniatures at the Royal Academy between 1807-17 and the present work was painted in 1810 whilst Gwynn was working from a previously undocumented address of 24 Bolsover Street. The portrait depicts the eldest son of a ‘Mr Curtis’ and can therefore be considered a symbol of family affection, perhaps painted as the boy left school and entered into working life.

A portrait by Gwynn of Charles Samuel Wittell was engraved by P.W.Tomkins and published in 1808 [British Museum].
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