Portrait of a Baby Boy

  • Unidentified, Portrait of a Baby Boy, ca. 1805, watercolor on ivory, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Mary Elizabeth Spencer, 1999.27.59.2

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It is not always possible to identify the sitter in a miniature portrait, and research is still being done on some of the works in the Museum’s collection. Miniatures became popular in England during the early 1700s, commissioned by wealthy families on the occasions of births, engagements, weddings, and bereavements. These paintings, elaborately set into lockets or brooches, provided the wearer with a sentimental connection to a loved one. The back of the miniature often revealed a lock of the sitter’s hair, symbolizing affection, commitment, or loss.

Portrait of a Baby Boy
ca. 1805
On View
Not on view.
image (oval): 2 1/8 x 1 3/4 in. (5.5 x 4.4 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Mary Elizabeth Spencer

Mediums Description
watercolor on ivory
  • Portrait male – unidentified – child
  • Portrait male – unidentified – waist length
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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