This portrait of a young girl encompasses all the trademarks of Engleheart’s painting techniques and is strikingly well-preserved. The outer leather case which encloses the miniature within its gold frame has kept the light away from the watercolour paint, allowing Engleheart’s original palette to be admired.

The current portrait dates from the turn of the eighteenth century, when Engleheart was firmly established as one of the most successful miniaturists working in London. He was in great demand and worked hard - his fee books from 1775 to 1813 recording no less than 4,853 miniatures. Despite this prodigious output, he maintained a very high standard. On this miniature, every fold of the lace encircling the sitter’s neck has been described in white paint, with the natural unevenness of the fabric demonstrating his careful observation and concentration on the sitter seated before him.

Signed with a cursive ‘E’, this portrait belongs to the middle phase of Engleheart’s long career, when...

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This portrait of a young girl encompasses all the trademarks of Engleheart’s painting techniques and is strikingly well-preserved. The outer leather case which encloses the miniature within its gold frame has kept the light away from the watercolour paint, allowing Engleheart’s original palette to be admired.

The current portrait dates from the turn of the eighteenth century, when Engleheart was firmly established as one of the most successful miniaturists working in London. He was in great demand and worked hard - his fee books from 1775 to 1813 recording no less than 4,853 miniatures. Despite this prodigious output, he maintained a very high standard. On this miniature, every fold of the lace encircling the sitter’s neck has been described in white paint, with the natural unevenness of the fabric demonstrating his careful observation and concentration on the sitter seated before him.

Signed with a cursive ‘E’, this portrait belongs to the middle phase of Engleheart’s long career, when his sitters were painted with large, deep eyes and a cool flesh tone, here exemplified in the present miniature. These portraits were painted on larger ivory supports, with space to include the sitter down to the waistline. Strong linear shading throughout the sitter’s collar and hair, particularly to her left, adds tangible depth to the otherwise light composition.

Engleheart attracted wealthy and important clientele and by 1776 had already painted King George III several times (he would paint the king over twenty-five times during his career). In 1789, on the death of Jeremiah Meyer, he was officially appointed miniature painter to the king. This court position did of course positively affect his career. Although we do not at present know the name of the sitter in this portrait, sitting to Engleheart would have meant following in the footsteps of the great and the good of Georgian society.

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500 Years of British Art