Christian Friedrich Zincke (1683-1767)
Zincke was the most successful enamel painter in England in the eighteenth century... and by 1741 he was able to charge the enormous sum of thirty guineas for a miniature...
This portrait of a young woman shows Zincke working in his favoured colours of blue and white; a fashionable combination in the eighteenth century. The darker blue flaunted Zincke’s skill in his painting of drapery, while the white colour alluded to the sitter’s youthfulness and also a type of chemise more often worn in private than in public. The informality of this dress (seen here also in the lifted edge of the sitter’s cloak) indicates the status of the portrait enamel as a personal as opposed to a public portrait type.
Christian Friedrich Zincke was the most successful enamel painter in England in the eighteenth century. A pupil of William Boit, himself the effective successor to Jean Petitot, who introduced the practice in England, Zincke found success so easy that by 1741 he was able to charge the enormous sum of thirty guineas for a miniature. Unlike most enamellists, Zincke painted sitters from life instead on relying on copying from large oil portraits.
Due to deteriorating eyesight, Zincke’s career ended prematurely in the 1740s, although by then he had established himself as one of the most prolific and successful portrait enamellists of the eighteenth century. His work is held in a number of major national collections, including the Ashmolean Museum, the Royal Collection and the Victoria and Albert Museum.