Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mastery of Design: An Eye Miniature, 19th C.

Miniature of watercolor on ivory
Nineteenth Century
The Victoria & Albert Museum

We’ve looked at quite a few of these jewel-framed miniature portraits of eyes. Eye miniatures were a curious but brief anomaly in miniature painting that enjoyed a short turn in fashion at the end of the 18th century.

These sentimental paintings were given as tokens of affection from a woman to a man, typically, in an attempt to capture “the window of the soul” and offer an into the subject’s most intimate thoughts and feelings.

This one was made in the early Nineteenth Century. As usual, the painting is watercolor on ivory. We’re not sure who created it, who the subject is or to whom it was given. The shape of the piece is unusual, elevating the subject into a new elegance. The pearls set into the gold frame indicate that this was meant as an important gift.

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