Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of two brothers embracing, one holding a book 

Sampson Towgood Roch(e) 1759-1847

Portrait miniature of two brothers embracing, one holding a book, Sampson Towgood Roch(e)
Watercolour on ivory
Oval, 3 inches (76mm) high
Private Noble Collection
The present work is one of Rocheís most endearing portrait miniatures and its recent rediscovery is an exciting new addition to the artistís known oeuvre.

Sampson Towgood Roch(e) was born in County Cork and, despite being deaf and self-taught, had by the late 1770s established himself as one of Dublinís leading miniaturists. He later moved his professional practice to London and later to Bath, where his services were in constant high demand from the emerging middle-class citizens. Roche was also patronized by the Royal Family and painted Princess Ameliaís portrait, later being offered a knighthood although supposedly declining on account of his disability.

The present example shows Rocheís key characteristic of bestowing on his sitterís a slight smile - not too extreme as to over-prettify, but just enough to heighten the level of engagement. The young boys are undoubtedly brothers, and possibly twins given their same height and apparent age.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.