Charles Beale was the son of the artist Mary Beale and her husband (and studio manager) Charles. Mary’s family were all involved in the family trade. Charles, her younger son, trained in his mother’s studio, and prepared the grounds and draperies of her paintings. His parents were also acquainted with the miniaturist and writer Thomas Flatman and Charles was apprenticed to him in 1676/77 ' to learn to limne'. A talented draughtsman, he is best known for an exquisite series of intimate red chalk drawings which are now in the British Museum, London and the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Charles ultimately abandoned miniature painting to work in oils, but was tragically forced to give up his career, because, as Vertue tells us, ‘his sight would not bear the practice’.

A diverse group of miniatures have been attributed to Charles Beale and although unsigned, the present work bears a resemblance to accepted works, relating particularly closely to a miniature...

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Charles Beale was the son of the artist Mary Beale and her husband (and studio manager) Charles. Mary’s family were all involved in the family trade. Charles, her younger son, trained in his mother’s studio, and prepared the grounds and draperies of her paintings. His parents were also acquainted with the miniaturist and writer Thomas Flatman and Charles was apprenticed to him in 1676/77 ' to learn to limne'. A talented draughtsman, he is best known for an exquisite series of intimate red chalk drawings which are now in the British Museum, London and the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Charles ultimately abandoned miniature painting to work in oils, but was tragically forced to give up his career, because, as Vertue tells us, ‘his sight would not bear the practice’.

A diverse group of miniatures have been attributed to Charles Beale and although unsigned, the present work bears a resemblance to accepted works, relating particularly closely to a miniature by Charles sold as part of the Gordon Collection of Portrait Miniatures [Christie’s London, 20 November 2007].

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500 Years of British Art