Eye of a Lady

  • Unidentified (European), Eye of a Lady, ca. 1800, watercolor on ivory, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.8.313.3

Luce Center Label

Small paintings of eyes first became popular during the late eighteenth century. They reminded wearers of a loved one, whose identity remained a secret. The single eye also symbolized the watchful gaze of a jealous partner, who feared that his or her lover might stray. One of the earliest known eye miniatures was painted in 1786 by the English artist Richard Cosway for the Prince of Wales, later King George IV. The miniature showed the eye of Mrs. Fitzherbert, the prince’s mistress.

Title
Eye of a Lady
Artist
Date
ca. 1800
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
sight 7/8 x 1 in. (2.1 x 2.4 cm) oval
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of John Gellatly

Mediums
Mediums Description
watercolor on ivory
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure female – fragment – eye
Object Number
1929.8.313.3
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI