Naive and Enchanting Antique Watercolour Miniature Portrait of a Woman in Large Brass Hanging Frame


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THE STORY - There she was hanging among a plethora of other items and I instantly became mesmerised by that face and the painting of it. The miniature which is watercolour on card fascinates me as I think the style of painting is quite naive the face almost stylised and it is housed in a large oval hanging frame which I think is brass and it is not often I have seen such naive paintings framed in such a way they are normally in simple wooden frames. The woman wears this wonderful lace headdress which I think would date the painting to the early 1860s when a women would wear her hair in a low chignon and these headdresses were an easy way decorating the hair without much dressing, but as the decade progressed women's hair became placed higher on the head no longer requiring such dressing. And she wears a very simple white dress with detail only really around the collar area. Although I do not think I could say the portrait is finely painted there is something about it which I find very beautiful and ethereal, those light auburn curls falling out of the headdress, her large wide set almond shaped eyes, her fine auburn eyebrows, her long straight nose and her small slightly upturned mouth, all painted in a palette of soft grey cream and brown. And goodness me does she look you in the eye! And of course I wonder who painted this portrait and what their relationship was the woman, being the romantic I am I would say lover.

AGE - Circa 1860

CONDITION - The portrait is in good condition, I think there may be in the near eye of the sitter a slight loss of paint in the white of her eye. As I have already mentioned she is framed in a large brass oval hanging frame, which my instinct tells me is the original frame but I cannot be sure. The glass of the frame is clean with no scratches that I can see and it has a brown velvet backing of which there is some wear to the edge. I have not opened up this miniature. I would like to point out that in my photographs for me those with the warmer tones are the truer representations of the colours of this miniature

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Height (including hanging loop) 4" / 10cm, width 2&1/2" / 6cm, depth 1/4" / 0.5cm

So there is she is my woman who has no fear of looking you in the eye, there is such softness in the painting but such strength of character in her face and oh how I would loved to know who she was and who painted this portrait and indeed where it was painted. She may not be the most finely painted miniature portrait of the period but for me the naivety of the painting adds to the beauty of the portrait, it really is a very intimate and ethereal piece.

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