One has to consider that this portrait would have been commissioned well after the era of portrait minature, and after the time when one might rather have just had a photograph taken, so it's of special interest to note that this very dignified matron arranged an artist to capture her likeness for posterity, or to include with her long line of family portraits in miniature within her 'Heritage' collection and display. By her costume, she's late Victorian or perhaps even to early Edwardian era by the time this painting was done, well after most of the famed miniature portraitists had gone out of business, forced out by the new lifelike photography, the daguerreotype, and later methods of more easily capturing an exact likeness. One wonders at her reasoning. Perhaps she was patroness to one of those very artist. Perhaps she preferred a little adjustment that the camera would not allow. Perhaps her very adept artist was a family member - yes, that is it. This image is actually painted by a famous person, a portrait of her own mother. Signed E.S. Lees (Edith Lees) Details about the artist: My research tells me this woman's daughter is Edith Mary Oldham Ellis nee' Lees, the daughter of Lady Fithian. An interesting history here, as Edith Lees (married name Ellis) (c.1861-1916) was most noted as an early feminist, and wife of Havelock Ellis, a British physician, writer and social reformer. The marriage seems to have been one of convenience as Edith was known to be lesbian and she had numerous affairs with women during the marriage. She was talented in both painting and writing and is best known for her writing. You can learn more about her and can see the familial likeness in a photo of her that is with her bio online.
Very good to excellent condition, beautifully crafted and so lifelike, you can see the marcel waves in her graying brunette hair, and the rise of her dignified brow above those expressive eyes. The vision captured by her loving devoted daughter, this painting is a representation of love, of family and definitely of a very talented artist, daughter of the sitter. There are no chips or cracks or hairline or warp to the thin natural wafer upon which the goauche portrait is done. The cover glass is in place and all housed in a lovely old French frame with elaborate laurel leaf garland and bow top, hugged by a gadroon border. I see we have some brass polish in the recesses of the frame. I'll be sure that is brushed away and the beautify of the brass and copper 2-tone frame will present at its loveliest. Fabulous work of art in miniature, artist signed and ID'd.
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