Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of a Young Lady in a white low-cut dress 

Frederick Buck (1771-c.1839)

Portrait miniature of a Young Lady in a white low-cut dress, Frederick Buck
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Watercolour on ivory
Oval, 64mm (2 ½ in) high
 
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The present work is one of the finest portrait miniatures by Frederick Buck to appear on the market in recent years. The entirely original, unfaded condition allows an uncommon opportunity to look at Buck’s work in the manner it would have first been intended.

Buck was born in Ireland and studied at the Dublin Society Schools before establishing a practice in Cork. By this point Cork was a very busy port and Buck’s portraits were in high demand from family members wanting a visual record of their sons and husbands before they departed to war. His prolific output meant that quality was not always maintained and some of his sitter’s heads sit quite uncomfortably due to his practice of adding them to already prepared bodies.

Buck was clearly an imaginative painter though and in the present work we notice how the sky background was actually painted from the reverse, creating this subtle, luminous effect.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.