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Portrait of a Gentleman with Initials H. D. C.

ca. 1795 Unidentified watercolor on ivory sight 2 1/2 x 2 in. (6.4 x 5.1 cm) oval Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Rene Muller 1980.95.1 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

Around 1794, the style of powdering hair fell out of favor. In this miniature, the sitter’s long white and gray hair, possibly pulled back in a “pigtail queue,” marks the change from British aristocratic fashion to new trends set by young Americans. The casual hair, assertive expression, and sensual mouth express this gentleman’s confidence, and perhaps even imply a mischievous streak.

Keywords

Portrait male - unidentified - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor

ivory