Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Painting of the Day: Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, c. 1850

Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge
Samuel Cousins, 1850-1870
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection 
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Thought to be painted by Samuel Cousins (1801-1887) between 1850 and 1870, this watercolor on ivory miniature is mounted on card. While the piece is unsigned, it closely matches the style of a miniature of Alexandra Zicaliotti by Cousins which can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Cousin’s work is defined by small brushstrokes, jewel-like colors, dense painting and visual focus on the sitter’s eyes. Primarily an engraver, Cousins wrote in his 1887 private memoir that he had been commissioned to paint some miniatures for special patrons—including Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, the Duchess of Teck—pictured at the top of this post. Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge (mother of Queen Mary) was the second daughter of Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, youngest surviving son of King George III, and of Augusta, daughter of Frederick, Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. It is possible that this painting dates to before Princess Mary Adelaide’s 1866 marriage to Prince Francis, 1st Duke of Teck, only son of Alexander, Duke of Württemberg. 

Princess Mary Adelaide, by the way, was known to enjoy a good meal.  And, speaking of good meals...tomorrow, we'll be featuring this week's "Treat of the Week."  It's the annual "Easter Edition," so you won't want to miss it.  Lots of good stuff to see!

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