Watercolor on ivory in a gold frame with glazed reverse
Framed: 8.5 x 7.2 cm (3 3/8 x 2 13/16 in.); Sight: 8 x 6.5 cm (3 1/8 x 2 9/16 in.)
The Edward B. Greene Collection 1941.561
A sticker attached to the back says “Countess Orford"; however, the sitter cannot be her since the Earl of Orford died without issue in 1797 and the title expired with his death.
This unknown sitter has greenish-gray eyes and curly brown hair falling to the back of her neck. She wears a white lace-bordered mob cap with a bow at the top and ruffle under the chin. Her brown dress of dotted Swiss cotton has a narrow white collar. Handwoven during this period, dotted Swiss was a delicate fabric used for summer dresses. Both the Swiss dot gown and the mob cap give the sitter a casual, country air at odds with the approaching vogue for dressing in a style more classically inspired. The background sky is light blue and gray, with crosshatching increasingly worked increasingly close to the figure. The color palette is confined to browns and muddy blues. This miniature, painted close to 1800, is a charming example of Andrew Plimer’s doll aesthetic, seen in the sitter’s round face, tiny mouth, and large eyes. Plimer was an extremely prolific artist, which helps account for the fact that many of his female sitters look alike.
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