Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of a Gentleman, wearing brown jacket and white frilled shirt, his hair powdered and worn en queue, c.1800 

Andrew Plimer (c.1763-1837)

Portrait of a Gentleman, wearing brown jacket and white frilled shirt, his hair powdered and worn en queue, c.1800, Andrew Plimer
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Watercolour on ivory
19th Century
Oval, 70mm high
 
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Born in Shropshire and apprenticed to a clockmaker, Andrew and his brother Nathaniel purportedly ran away, arriving in London in 1781 where Andrew found employment as a manservant in the household of Richard Cosway. Cosway, who by this point was a highly regarded portrait miniaturist, allowed Plimer to take lessons in painting, and a few years later in 1785 Plimer established his own practice. By the next year Plimer was exhibiting at the Royal Academy from an address in Golden Square, then a fashionable part of London, where he appears to have remained until 1810.
The present work of an unknown young man can be dated to around 1800, at the peak of Plimer’s career, and demonstrates well the artist’s compositional formula during the second phase of the artist’s oeuvre. This ‘second phase’ as cited by Daphne Foskett in Miniatures: A Dictionary and Guide, is characterized by more ambitious dimensions and the absence of a signature.
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