Scottish-born artist John Bogle’s work boasts of incredible detail and masterful craftsmanship and he is often admired for his evocation of personality in his astonishingly detailed portrait miniatures. Bogle studied at the drawing school in Glasgow before focussing his attention on portrait miniature painting, establishing himself first in Edinburgh and then in London.

After the death of his mother, Mary Graham, he might have become a member of the aristocracy but never made any claim to his title, the ‘Earl of Menteith’. The year before he moved from Edinburgh to London in 1770, he married and exhibited miniatures at the Society of Artists, in London, from his address in Edinburgh. In London he met some of the most interesting characters in Georgian England, even accompanying Fanny Burney, the well-known playwright and novelist, to witness the trial of Warren Hastings. Between 1772-1794, Bogle exhibited at the Royal Academy before returning to Edinburgh in 1800 where he died three years later....

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Scottish-born artist John Bogle’s work boasts of incredible detail and masterful craftsmanship and he is often admired for his evocation of personality in his astonishingly detailed portrait miniatures. Bogle studied at the drawing school in Glasgow before focussing his attention on portrait miniature painting, establishing himself first in Edinburgh and then in London.

After the death of his mother, Mary Graham, he might have become a member of the aristocracy but never made any claim to his title, the ‘Earl of Menteith’. The year before he moved from Edinburgh to London in 1770, he married and exhibited miniatures at the Society of Artists, in London, from his address in Edinburgh. In London he met some of the most interesting characters in Georgian England, even accompanying Fanny Burney, the well-known playwright and novelist, to witness the trial of Warren Hastings. Between 1772-1794, Bogle exhibited at the Royal Academy before returning to Edinburgh in 1800 where he died three years later.

Bogle was the master of conveying the sense of a large oil in a small portrait miniature. His compositions were often ambitious and impeccably detailed, as seen here in the sitter’s costume and delicate stippling technique, which bestows his sitter’s face with a soft-focus effect. The sitter’s lace-trimmed fichu and lilac spotted kerchief are afforded similar attention; the folds of fabric are detailed in soft shadows, weaving through the hair. This particular portrait would have been painted during his time in London, when he was exhibiting at the Royal Academy.

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500 Years of British Art