The quality of this portrait enamel recalls the work of Giuseppe Macpherson...
Although the artist of this enamel is unknown, it was painted at a time when enamel portraits were firmly established in England and offered by many miniaturists as an alternative to watercolour on ivory. Enamelling was a difficult and time consuming operation, which required patience and skill from the artist. It can be assumed that the artist of the present work was apprenticed to an enameller, some of whom were employed in enamelling cases for watches. Enamel portraits were time consuming and labour intensive and often costly to commission.
The soft brown stippling in the background of this enamel portrait, combined with the distinctive tilt of the sitter’s head and the bold colours employed in the costume recall the work of Giuseppe (or James) Macpherson (c.1740/1750), the son of Donald Macpherson who worked in the household of Alexander, 2nd Duke of Gordon (1678?-1728). Like many artists of the period, Macpherson worked in many mediums. As the pupil of Pompeo Batoni, he had access to many Europeans visiting Italy as part of the Grand Tour, and this portrait may represent such a commission. As an unsigned work, it is not possible to attribute this particular portrait to him, although the quality suggests a well-established artist.