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Portrait of a Gentleman with Initials C. B.

ca. 1795 Unidentified watercolor on ivory sight 2 1/8 x 2 5/8 in. (5.4 x 6.7 cm) oval Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Rene Muller 1980.95.2 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

Although this miniature gives the sitter’s initials as “CB,” the man’s identity is unknown. His clothes and posture, however, imply that he was a gentleman who knew the importance of dress at the end of the eighteenth century. The artist elongated the man’s torso and head to call attention to his collar, the blue and red striped shirt, and the ruffles of his white cravat. With his shoulders pressed back and his head held high, this man asserts that he is nothing less than a gentleman prepared for the new century.


Portrait male - unidentified - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor