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Portrait of a Gentleman

ca. 1790 Unidentified watercolor on ivory sight 2 5/8 x 2 1/8 in. (6.7 x 5.4 cm) oval Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1975.5 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

In this miniature the unknown artist concentrated on this sitter’s facial features, whereas the coat and cravat appear with less detail. During the reign of George III in England, powdered wigs and natural hair were worn in “pigtail queues” and men’s coats had a shawl-like cut at the collar. In the sitter’s portrait, remnants of hair powder appear on his collar and the bow in his hair, indicating that he followed the English fashion.


Portrait male - unidentified - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor