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Zoomable Image of A Portrait enamel of a Nobleman, wearing bright blue collarless jacket with gold braid and white stock, powdered wig worn en queue, c. 1750

A Portrait enamel of a Nobleman, wearing bright blue collarless jacket with gold braid and white stock, powdered wig worn en queue, c. 1750

English School C. 1750

A Portrait enamel of a Nobleman, wearing bright blue collarless jacket with gold braid and white stock, powdered wig worn en queue, c. 1750

English School C. 1750

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Price:

£1,650

Materials:

Enamel on metal

Dimensions:

Oval, 1 3/4 in (45mm) high

Provenance:

Private British Collection

Frame:

Gilded metal frame

Painted in a careful stipple and in vibrant colours, the artist has paid particular attention to the patterned braid adorning the sitter’s coat – much in the same way that a classical frieze has been meticulously painted behind the female sitter in the V&A’s portrait.

This enamel, painted around the middle of the eighteenth century, is extremely close in technique and colouring to an enamel of a young lady in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London [EVANS.322]. Painted in a careful stipple and in vibrant colours, the artist has paid particular attention to the patterned braid adorning the sitter’s coat – much in the same way that a classical frieze has been meticulously painted behind the female sitter in the V&A’s portrait. The purplish colour used to describe shadows in the sitter’s faces is also a distinctive feature in the two works.


Although the artist of these two portraits is currently unknown, they were following the enthusiasm for the rapid development of the enamel portrait in England, first introduced by the Swiss goldsmith Jean Petitot in the 1630s. As technical developments improved the accuracy and output of this challenging artform, the German artist Christian Friedrich Zincke (1683-1767) instructed many English artists to produce these beautiful and durable portraits. The technique shown in the present work and the V&A portrait enamel indicates that the artist was probably trained by Zincke.

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