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Zoomable Image of Portrait miniature of an Officer in armour with black hair and white cravat, c.1670

Portrait miniature of an Officer in armour with black hair and white cravat, c.1670

Dutch School , Late Seventeenth Century

Portrait miniature of an Officer in armour with black hair and white cravat, c.1670

Dutch School , Late Seventeenth Century

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Price:

£3,250

Materials:

Watercolour on vellum

Dimensions:

Oval, 2 3/8 in (60 mm) high

Provenance:

Private Collection, UK

Frame:

Eighteenth-century frame with tied bow motif, decorated with translucent red enamel

The unusual frame, with the twists and curlicues of its enamelwork, is imitative of the delicately-tied bow of a ribbon and could perhaps reflect the fact that the image would once have been worn...

This fine portrait miniature shows an assertive military figure in his prime. His hair worn long, the sitter emulates fashions that originated at the court of Louis XIV in France and demonstrate his status as a man of sophistication and taste. Shown wearing armour, the studs of which are delicately indicated using touches of gold leaf, the sitter could well have been present on the battlefields of the conflicts that raged in Europe from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth centuries, such as the Nine Years’ War or the War of the Austrian Succession. Or, perhaps, this could simply allude to the military virtues of the sitter.

So forceful is the likeness of the sitter that it is surprising that neither sitter nor artist can be identified. However, the subtlety of the technique and intricacy of the detailing on the costume of the sitter indicate the hand of an artist of not inconsiderable talent. The unusual frame, with the twists and curlicues of its enamelwork, is imitative of the delicately-tied bow of a ribbon and could perhaps reflect the fact that the image would once have been worn.

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