Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of a Lady, wearing a lilac dress with white trim, a gold brooch at her corsage, her hair worn upswept with a looped plait and curled into ringlets 1805

John Smart (1741-1811)

Portrait miniature of a Lady, wearing a lilac dress with white trim, a gold brooch at her corsage, her hair worn upswept with a looped plait and curled into ringlets, John Smart
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Watercolour on ivory
19th Century
Oval, 75mm (2 15/16 in.) high
 
Provenance:
Milan, Innocenti Collection; Karin Henninger-Tavcar, 1990; Private Collection, Germany
Set into an inner gold frame, the outer silver frame with the pierced surround set with rose cut diamonds

This large work by Smart sits firmly in the final phase of his career, when he responded to technical innovations which allowed larger pieces of ivory to be utilised by artists. His sitters also reflect a change, posing in Empire waist dresses, this unknown sitter forgoing the standard white muslin for a lilac-blue dress with ruched bust. Her hair is worn in a fashionable neo-Grec coiffure, a long plait secured into a curl on the top of her head.

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