Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of a Lady, wearing white satin dress under a blue overdress edged with fur and lace, a bow at her corsage, her upswept hair dressed with pearls and tulle 1774

John Smart (1741-1811)

Portrait miniature of a Lady, wearing white satin dress under a blue overdress edged with fur and lace, a bow at her corsage, her upswept hair dressed with pearls and tulle, John Smart
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Watercolour on ivory
18th Century
Oval, 50mm (2 in.) high
 
Provenance:
Leopold Hirsch, Esq, whom sold; Christie’s, London, 7-9 May 1934, lot 22; S. J. Phillips, London, 1934; Phillips, London, 15 February 1984, lot 410; Karin Henninger-Tavcar, 1989; Private Collection, Germany.
Literature:
Pantheon’, April 1934, Vol. 13, p.126 (illustrated); ‘The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs’, October 1934, Vol.65, no.379, p.10 (illustrated); Foskett, 1964, Plate 10, no.33 (illustrated).
Gold frame with diamond border.

In this portrait, Smart’s natural flair for colour is shown in the pairing of the delicate lilac-blue dress with the sitter’s pale complexion and dark hair. Although the sitter is, at present, unknown, she is typically portrayed with a Reynoldsian-style grace that Smart bestowed on his female sitters during the mid 1770s.

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