Born into a family of artists, all of whom seemingly lived and worked in London, William Singleton absorbed the creative atmosphere which immediately encircled him. He became a pupil of the acclaimed miniaturist Ozias Humphry (1742-1810), and the influence of his skilled hand is evident in the present miniature.

The sitter’s refined curls are reminiscent of the female sitter’s hair in Humphry’s A Portrait of a Young lady with Powdered Hair, also displayed within this exhibition. Both miniatures exemplify the light and intricate working methods of Humphry and Singleton whilst the blue tones which govern this portrait are a distinctive indicator of Singleton’s hand. According to Daphne Foskett, Singleton ‘is said to have painted portraits, sketches and ‘fancy heads’, as well as miniatures in watercolour and enamel’, and it is important to note the rarity of works by Singleton currently available for sale.[1]

Singleton exhibited at the Society of Artists, 1770-1790, and at the Royal Academy, 1779-1790...

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Born into a family of artists, all of whom seemingly lived and worked in London, William Singleton absorbed the creative atmosphere which immediately encircled him. He became a pupil of the acclaimed miniaturist Ozias Humphry (1742-1810), and the influence of his skilled hand is evident in the present miniature.

The sitter’s refined curls are reminiscent of the female sitter’s hair in Humphry’s A Portrait of a Young lady with Powdered Hair, also displayed within this exhibition. Both miniatures exemplify the light and intricate working methods of Humphry and Singleton whilst the blue tones which govern this portrait are a distinctive indicator of Singleton’s hand. According to Daphne Foskett, Singleton ‘is said to have painted portraits, sketches and ‘fancy heads’, as well as miniatures in watercolour and enamel’, and it is important to note the rarity of works by Singleton currently available for sale.[1]

Singleton exhibited at the Society of Artists, 1770-1790, and at the Royal Academy, 1779-1790 and his work is held within the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

[1] D. Foskett, Miniatures Dictionary and Guide (Suffolk: The Antique Collectors Club Ltd., 1987) p.192.

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500 Years of British Art