Portrait of a Gentleman

  • Unidentified, Portrait of a Gentleman, ca. 1800, watercolor on ivory, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Mary Elizabeth Spencer, 1999.27.78

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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.

Title
Portrait of a Gentleman
Artist
Date
ca. 1800
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
image (oval): 2 3/4 x 2 1/8 in. (6.9 x 5.3 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bequest of Mary Elizabeth Spencer

Mediums
Mediums Description
watercolor on ivory
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – unidentified – bust
Object Number
1999.27.78
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

20th century
painted wood, metal, and plastic
1760-1800
enamel and gilded metal
1500-1600
ceramic
19th or 20th century
carved and painted wood

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