In this image by William Wood of a young lady her fashionable white, muslin dress is decorated with a brooch in the form of an arrow. Painted over her heart, the gold arrow must be Cupid’s, and shows her heart pierced, having fallen in love. Given the romantic connotations of this symbolism, the portrait must have been commissioned for courtship.

Suffolk-born, Wood entered the Royal Academy schools to begin his formal training in 1785 at the age of sixteen. Little is known about his apprenticeship, but he was quickly established in the profession of miniature painting. It is possible that he is the ‘William Wood’ exhibiting at the Royal Academy as early as 1788 and was a regular exhibitor throughout his career. He strived to improve the status of portrait miniatures and watercolour portraits and to have such works recognised as ‘high art’. In 1807, for example, he was a founder member of the ‘New Society of Painters in...

Read more

In this image by William Wood of a young lady her fashionable white, muslin dress is decorated with a brooch in the form of an arrow. Painted over her heart, the gold arrow must be Cupid’s, and shows her heart pierced, having fallen in love. Given the romantic connotations of this symbolism, the portrait must have been commissioned for courtship.

Suffolk-born, Wood entered the Royal Academy schools to begin his formal training in 1785 at the age of sixteen. Little is known about his apprenticeship, but he was quickly established in the profession of miniature painting. It is possible that he is the ‘William Wood’ exhibiting at the Royal Academy as early as 1788 and was a regular exhibitor throughout his career. He strived to improve the status of portrait miniatures and watercolour portraits and to have such works recognised as ‘high art’. In 1807, for example, he was a founder member of the ‘New Society of Painters in Miniature and Watercolour’. This society was established to rival the watercolour exhibiting societies, which were dominated by landscape artists.

Wood also produced exquisite watercolour portraits on paper and larger genre pictures on square pieces of ivory.[1] The majority of his commissions, however, were the more typical ovals such as this piece, painted at the height of his career in the later 1790s/ 1800. During this time, he also experimented with improving the stability of watercolour on ivory. His coded notebooks are kept in the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and are part of an ongoing study into his work in the conservation department there.

[1] An example can be found in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, entitled ‘An Interesting Story’ (Miss Ray), dated 1806 [95.14.95]. Rectangular ivories were being slowly introduced at this time as an alternative to the wearable ovals which has dominated the market for so long.

Related artworks

Previous
Next
£ 5,000.00
‘LEUCHARS’
£ 5,000

Receive information about exhibitions, news & events.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.

Receive information about exhibitions, news & events.

We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.
Close

Basket

No items found
Close

Your saved list

This list allows you to enquire about a group of works.
No items found
Close
Mailing list signup

Get exclusive updates from Philip Mould Gallery

Close

Sign up for updates

Artwork enquiry

Receive newsletters

In order to respond to your enquiry, we will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.

Close
Search
Close
Close
500 Years of British Art