Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of a Young lady, in white dress with high frilled collar, pale blue sash, drop pearl earring, white bandeau in her long powdered curling hair, late 1790s 

George Engleheart (1750/3-1829)

Portrait miniature of a Young lady, in white dress with high frilled collar, pale blue sash, drop pearl earring, white bandeau in her long powdered curling hair, late 1790s, George Engleheart
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Watercolour on ivory
18th Century
Oval, 2 5/8 in. (67 mm.) high, gilt-metal frame
 
Provenance:
English Private Collection
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George Engleheart is considered to be one of the most distinguished miniaturists of the late Georgian period alongside Cosway, Smart and Humphry, and was one of the most prolific miniaturists ever known.

Engleheart was born in Kew, the son of a German plaster modeller. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools under Reynolds and the landscape painter George Barret. Engleheartís skill and industry as a miniaturist appealed to George III, and in 1789 he was appointed Miniature Painter to the King. He painted at least twenty-five portraits of the King and many others of the royal family. He spent most of his career working in London where he built up an excellent reputation and was consistently inundated with commissions; his fee-book revealing that during one month in 1775 he painted the same sitter (Lady Townshend) an astonishing six times alone.

The present miniature is dateable to the 1790ís based on the fashion for high frilled collars with high-waistline sashes and hair bandeaus. Englehearts clever manipulation of the ivory can be seen in the glowing white of the sitterís dress achieved through very light washes of white allowing the natural luminescent qualities of the ivory to shine through.
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