A magnificent c.1700s portrait miniature from my own collection, she falls into the category "naughty" for her bared breast. These, typically, were portraits done for ones lover. She might have been a mistress or 'favorite', her amour besotted with her beauty and sensuality. The hair dates her to c.1750-80s, either King Louis XV or XVI. A courtier, or just the love object of one, her delicate presence still stunning these 270-300 years later. The artist has not signed this painting, but the talent is immense. Gouache on very thin natural wafer, her face is only 1/2" chin to hairline. When I can enlarge a 2" x 1 3/4" oval to fill your screen and it remains a cohesive and opulent painting, you begin to understand the miniaturists' art. I will note, this young woman may have lived in Eastern Europe or perhaps Russia. Or migrated to a collection there. I purchased several at once, all out of Eastern Europe. The variation in the frame as well as point of collection estate might indicate Poland or Russia.
Very good to excellent condition. There is not a flaw to the painting. Every hair and eyebrow come to life, and the curve of her lips is as sensual as the maiden's nipple she bares. Diaphanous fabric and long strands of hair let down drape her shoulder. She is in her original frame, rounded wood which was once covered in silk velvet, but over time all of the nap has been lost. There is a hairline crack in the old wood at the very bottom, and it has had adhesive restoration, tighter in some images than others. Brass mat, slightly convex original cover glass. Full measurements noted on the photos. RARE! Superb!
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