Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of a ‘J. Jenkyn’, 1819 

Andrew Robertson (1777-1845)

Portrait miniature of a ‘J. Jenkyn’, 1819, Andrew Robertson
Watercolour on ivory
19th Century
Oval, 8cm, 3 ¼ inches high.
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Andrew Robertson was born in Aberdeen in 1777, his father was an architect and his two brothers were both also miniature painters. Robertson began his artistic career at a very young age, studying under Nasmyth and Raeburn from the age of fourteen, the latter’s influence remaining prominent throughout his career. Robertson arrived in London in 1801 and quickly befriended the renowned portrait painter Benjamin West, whose introductions and patronage helped him in the early years. In 1805 Robertson was appointed miniature painter to the Duke of Sussex, a reflection of his illustrious clientele, and in 1808 at an exhibition at the Associated Artists in Water-Colour, he exhibited portraits of five princesses. A portrait of Princess Amelia in the Royal Collection, dated 1811, suggests that Robertson’s royal patronage was long-lasting and even towards the end of his life, in 1837, he was being patronized by the likes of James Innes-Ker, 6th Duke of Roxburghe, whose portrait he exhibited at the Royal Academy the same year.
The present work, dateable to the middle phase of Robertson’s career depicts, according to an inscription on the reverse, a gentleman by the name of J. Jenkyn Esq.

In one instance introducing Robertson to King George III in 1803 whilst being given a tour around the forthcoming R.A show. Robertson, E. Letters and Papers of Andrew Robertson, 1895, p.96.
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