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Portrait of a Gentleman

ca. 1850 Unidentified (French) watercolor on ivory sight 1 1/4 x 1 in. (3.1 x 2.4 cm) oval Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Henry L. Milmore 1950.4.22 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“And yet, her undying faith and trust, her fresh remembrance, and continual devotedness towards the original of that miniature, have been the only substance for her heart to feed upon.” Nathaniel Hawthorne, House of the Seven Gables, 1851

Luce Center Label

In this miniature, which was probably worn by a loved one, the sitter’s blue eyes, fashionably disheveled hairstyle, and elegant clothing suggest he made an effort to present himself as a worthy suitor. This portrait was set in a bracelet or locket to be worn close to the body, reinforcing the intimacy between the wearer and the sitter.


Portrait male - unidentified - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor