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Title: Chats on Old Miniatures
Author: Foster, J. J.
Language: English
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[Illustration: MANSION.


_Wallace Collection._]



  J. J. FOSTER, F.S.A.

  ETC., ETC.



(_All rights reserved._)


Acceding to the wish of my Publishers that the following pages should
be included in a certain well-known series, I have termed them "Chats
on Old Miniatures," but confess that I consider the title somewhat of
a misnomer, inasmuch as I have been accustomed to regard "a chat" as a
conversation between two or more persons interested in a given subject;
whereas in this little volume it is obvious that I have done all the

In the interval which has elapsed since my larger works appeared the
most important event in connection with the subject of Miniatures is,
in my opinion, the Exhibition of Works of Art of the Eighteenth Century
at the French National Library in 1906. The concluding chapter of this
book gives the impressions afforded by that extremely interesting and
instructive Exhibition.

In the hope that they will be of use to the general reader, I have
amplified my references to the public collections of Miniatures in this
country, especially those at Hertford House and the Jones Collection,
so rich in the works of Petitot.

Miss E. M. Foster has been of much service in revising the proofs and
passing this work through the press.

I have only to add one word, and that relates to the illustrations.
I am fortunate in being able to put before my readers so large a
selection of choice examples of the art of miniature painting.

This I owe to the generosity of the owners of the originals, to whom I
desire once again to express my indebtedness and thanks.


  _Easter, 1908_.



  PREFACE                                                              9

  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS                                               13

  BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                        17


  OF THEM                                                             19

  PAINTING THEM                                                       43


  IV.  HOLBEIN, AND EARLY MINIATURE PAINTERS                          95

  V.  NICHOLAS HILLIARD                                              123

  VI.  THE OLIVERS AND HOSKINS                                       145

  VII.  SAMUEL COOPER                                                171

  VIII.  PETITOT                                                     191

  IX.  SOME GEORGIAN ARTISTS                                         211

  X.  COSWAY AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES                                  229

  XI.  THE LAST OF THE OLD SCHOOL                                    261

  XII.  ROYAL AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS                                279

  XIII.  PUBLIC COLLECTIONS                                          301


  CONCLUSION                                                         361

  INDEX                                                              367



  _Portrait of a Lady_, by J. Mansion (Wallace Collection).



  _Lady Villiers_ and _Katharine, Fifth Duchess of Leeds_, by R.
  Cosway, R.A. (Col. W. H. Walker)                                    23

  _Louisa of Stolberg_, a Jacobite badge (A. Lang, Esq.)
  _Mr. Barbor and the Barbor Jewel_ (Victoria and Albert
  Museum). _Charles I. in his own hair_ (Shelley family)              29

  _Queen Elizabeth_ (Harcourt family). _Miss Pretyman_,
  by R. Cosway, R.A. (J. Davison, Esq.)                               37


  _A Philospher_, Fifteenth-century Missal (Wallace Collection)       47

  _Sir Walter Raleigh_ and _Walter Raleigh, jun._, unknown
  (Duke of Rutland)                                                   51

  _Back of the Enamel Case containing the Raleigh Portraits_
  (Duke of Rutland)                                                   55

  _Sir John Hatton and his Mother_, ascribed to Lucas de
  Heere (Earl Spencer)                                                59


  _C. F. Zincke and his wife_, after J. Hysing                        67

  _Jeremiah Meyer, R.A._, after Dance. _Nathaniel Hone,
  R.A._, by Himself                                                   71

  _Thomas Howard_, by Sir A. More (Duke of Norfolk).
  _Edmond Butts_, by John Bettes (National Gallery)                   77

  _Henry Brandon_, by Hans Holbein the Younger (H.M.
  the King). _Hans Holbein the Younger_, by Himself
  (from a drawing at Basle). _Charles Brandon_, by Hans
  Holbein the Younger (H.M. the King)                                 81

  _A Burgomaster_, by Hans Holbein the Younger (H.M.
  the King). _Lady Audley_, by Hans Holbein the
  Younger (H.M. the King)                                             85

  _Catharine of Arragon_, by Hans Holbein the Younger.
  _Henry VIII._, by Hans Holbein the Younger (H.M.
  the King). _Henry, Duke of Richmond_, by Hans Holbein
  the Younger (H.M. the King)                                         91


  _Nicholas Hilliard_, by Himself (from Penshurst). _Lady
  Mary Sidney_, by N. Hilliard (Harcourt family)                      99

  _Henry VII._, by N. Hilliard (H.M. the King). _Charles the
  First when Prince of Wales_, by Isaac Oliver (Duke of
  Rutland). _Spenser_ (Lord Fitzhardinge)                            103

  _Isaacus Oliverus, Anglus Pictor_ (from a print in the
  British Museum)                                                    107

  _Venetia, Lady Digby_, by I. Oliver (Burdett-Coutts
  Collection). _I. Oliver_, by Himself (H.M. the King)               111

  _Sir Kenelm Digby_ and _Venetia, Lady Digby_, by Peter
  Oliver (Burdett-Coutts Collection)                                 115

  _Frances Howard, Countess of Somerset_, by Isaac Oliver.
  _Peter Oliver_, after Sir A. Van Dyck. _Arabella Stuart_,
  by Peter Oliver (Capt. J. H. Edwards, Heathcote)                   119


  _Charles I._, by John Hoskins (H.M. the King). _Duke of
  Buckingham_, by Isaac Oliver (H.M. the King)                       126

  _Oliver Cromwell_, by S. Cooper (Duke of Devonshire).
  _Oliver Cromwell_, by S. Cooper (Duke of Sutherland)               129

  _George Monck, Duke of Albemarle_, by S. Cooper (H.M. the
  King)                                                              133

  _Duchess of Cleveland_, by S. Cooper (Countess of Caledon).
  _O. Cromwell's Mother._ _Lady Leigh_, by S. Cooper
  (Sackville Bale Collection)                                        137

  _Sir John King_, by Alexander Cooper (H.M. the King).
  _S. Cooper_, by Himself (Dyce Collection)                          141


  _Petitot_, by Himself. _Mlle. Fontanges_, by Petitot.
  _Henrietta d'Orleans_, by Petitot (Burdett-Coutts
  Collection)                                                        151

  _Louis XIV._, by Petitot. _Charles I._, by Petitot (Burdett-Coutts
  Collection). _James II._, by Petitot (Burdett-Coutts
  Collection). _Cardinal Mazarin_, by Petitot (Earl
  of Carlisle). _Cardinal Richelieu_, by Petitot                     157

  _Petitot le Vieux_, by Petitot (Earl Dartrey). _Petitot_, from
  a print in the British Museum. _Charles II._, by Petitot
  (Burdett-Coutts Collection)                                        163


  _Lady Mary Wortley Montagu_, by S. Liotard. _Amelia,
  Duchess of Leinster_, after Sir Joshua Reynolds (Earl of
  Charlemont)                                                        174

  _A Lady_, unknown (Lord Tweedmouth). _Sarah Jennings,
  Duchess of Marlborough_, by Gaspar Netscher (Charles
  Butler, Esq.)                                                      177

  _Duchess of Hamilton_, by W. Derby (Earl of Derby).
  _Miss Kitty Mudge_, by James Nixon (Canon Raffles
  Flint)                                                             181

  _Marchioness of Hertford_, by R. Cosway, R.A. (Meynell-Ingram
  Collection). _Portrait of a Gentleman_, by S.
  Shelley (Miss Kendall). _Lady Frances Radcliffe_, by
  S. Collins (Earl of Carlisle)                                      185

  _Lady Elizabeth Hamilton_, by W. Derby (Earl of Derby)             189


  _Richard and Maria Cosway_, by R. Cosway, R.A.                     195

  _Lady Caroline Howard_, by R. Cosway, R.A. (Earl of
  Carlisle). _William, fifth Duke of Devonshire_, by R.
  Cosway, R.A. (Earl of Carlisle). _Lady Horatio Seymour_,
  by R. Cosway, R.A.                                                 199

  _George IV. when Prince of Wales_, by R. Cosway, R.A.
  (Shaftesbury family)                                               203

  _Lady Caroline Duncombe_, by R. Cosway, R.A. (W. B.
  Stopford, Esq.). _The Ladies Georgina and Harriet
  Cavendish_, by R. Cosway, R.A. (Earl of Carlisle)                  207


  _R. Cosway, R.A._, by Himself (National Portrait Gallery)          213

  _Lady Hamilton_ (J. H. Anderdon, Esq.). _Lady Theresa
  Strangways_, by A. Plimer                                          216

  _Lady Orde_, by R. Cosway, R.A. (Sir A. J. Campbell-Orde,
  Bart.)                                                             219

  _Caroline of Anspach_, by O. Humphrey, R.A. _Lady Clive_,
  by J. Smart (Earl of Powis). _Portrait of a Lady_, by J.
  Smart (Miss Kendall). _Lord Clive_, by J. Smart (Earl of
  Powis)                                                             223

  _Ozias Humphrey, R.A._, after G. Romney                            227


  _Portrait of a Lady_, by G. Engleheart (Col. W. H.
  Walker). _Portrait of a Gentleman_, by G. Engleheart
  (M. Viennot)                                                       233

  _Portrait of a Gentleman_, by W. Wood. _Maria, Duchess of
  Coventry_, unknown (J. G. Fanshawe, Esq.)                          239

  _The Baroness Burdett-Coutts_, by Sir W. C. Ross, R.A.             243

  _Countess of Leitrim_, by A. Robertson. _The Artist's
  Mother_, by Sir W. C. Ross, R.A.                                   249

  _William Cobden_, by R. Dudman. _Millicent Amber, his
  Wife_, by R. Dudman                                                253

  _Master Cobden, son of Richard Cobden_                             257


  _Mary Stuart_, by Janet (H.M. the King)                            265

  _The Duke of Monmouth_, by S. Cooper (H.M. the King)               269

  _Queen Charlotte_, by Ozias Humphrey, R.A. (H.M. the
  King). _James II._, by S. Cooper (H.M. the King)                   273

  _Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire_, by R. Cosway, R.A.
  (H.M. the King)                                                    277


  _Henry, Cardinal of York_ and _Prince Charles Edward_,
  unknown (H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany). _Mme. de
  Montespan_, by Petitot. _Mary Stuart_, from an enamel
  by H. Bone (Burdett-Coutts Collection)                             283

  _Sir Kenelm Digby, Wife, and Sons_, by Peter Oliver, after
  Sir A. van Dyck (Burdett-Coutts Collection)                        289

  _Sir Philip Sidney_, by Isaac Oliver (H.M. the King)               295


  _The Dauphin_, by Janet (H.M. the King). _Napoleon I._, by
  Chatillon (Duke of Wellington)                                     305

  _Portrait of Mirabeau_, Anonymous (M. Gabriel Marceau).
  _Portrait of a Lady_, by P. A. Hall (Mme. de B.)                   311

  _Portrait of the Painter C. J. Natoire_, by J. B. Massé
  (M. Ed. Taigny)                                                    317


  _Benoit Boulouvard de Sainte Albine and Sister_, by L.
  Sicardi (M. le Comte Allard du Chollet)                            329

  _Mlle. Constance Mayer_, by P. P. Prudhon (Eudoxe-Marcille
  Collection)                                                        335

  _Portrait of a Lady_, by J. B. Augustin (M. Ed. Taigny).
  _Portrait of a Young Lady_, by J. Guérin (Mme. de Sainte
  Martin Valogne)                                                    341

  _Mme. Henri Belmont_, by L. F. Aubry (M. de Richter)               347

  _F. B. Isabey_, by Himself (M. Ed. Taigny)                         353


  Archæologia, volume 39.

  Athenæum, The.

  Biographie Universelle.

  Bordier, Les Emaux de Petitot en Angleterre, G. des Beaux
  Arts, 1867.

  Bradley's Dictionary of Miniaturists, Illuminators, &c., 3 vols.,

  Bromley's Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits.

  Bryan's Dictionary of Artists.

  Burlington Fine Arts Club, Catalogue of Exhibition of
  Miniatures at.

  Connoisseur Library, Heath, Dudley, Miniatures, 1905.

  De Conches, History of English School of Painting.

  Eighteenth Century, Exhibition of Works of Art of (Catalogue),
  Paris, 1906.

  Evelyn's Diary.

  Fairholt's Dictionary of Art terms.

  Foster, J. J., British Miniature Painters and their Works, 1898.

     "           Miniature Painters, British and Foreign, 1903.

     "           Concerning the true Portraiture of Mary Stuart,

  Gazette des Beaux Arts.

  Gower, Lord Ronald, Great Historic Galleries.

  Granger's Biographical History of England.

  Graves, A., Dictionary of Artists.

  Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography.

  Kugler's Handbook of Painting.

  Labarte, Jules, Histoire des Arts Industriels.

  Laborde's Renaissance des Arts.

  Lacroix, The Arts in the Middle Ages.

  Lenoir, Catalogue de collection du Louvre.

  Lomazzo, A tracte containing the Artes of Painting.

  Louvre, Catalogues.

  Mariette's Abecedario.

  Merrifield's Arts of Painting.

  Miniatures, Special Loan Exhibition, South Kensington, 1865.

  Molinier, E., Dictionnaire des Emailleurs, Paris, 1885.

  Nagler's Kunst Lexicon.

  Pattison, Mrs. Mark, Renaissance of Art in France.

  Pepys' Diary.

  Propert's History of Miniature Painting, London, 1887.

  Redgrave's Century of Painters.

  Redgrave's Dictionary of Artists of the English School.

  Robertson, Andrew, Letters and Papers of.

  Rouquet's State of the Arts in England.

  Smith, J. R. Nollekens and his Times.

  Van der Doort's Catalogue, by Vertue, London, 1757.

  Vasari's Lives of the Painters.

  Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting.

  Williamson, G. C., Portrait Miniatures.

  Wornum's Life and Works of Holbein, London, 1867.






You would like to make a collection of old miniatures, did I hear my
reader say? and you want to know the best way to set about it? Well,
I can suggest one way: it is to become a millionaire, and let it be
known that you are interested in miniatures, then you will find that
a collection can easily be made, and not only so, but people will
actually make it for you, with an alacrity, ingenuity, and industry
which may surprise you. Should you further inquire what the collection
would be like when made, my reply would be: that depends upon your own
taste, intelligence, knowledge of art in general, and of miniature
painting in particular; upon the depth of your purse--and, I had almost
said, on your luck. Let me take that last-named qualification first,
and illustrate what I mean by luck in relation to a collection of
miniatures. Some years ago the father of the present Duke of Buccleuch
took to collecting miniatures, and the agent he employed to purchase
them was the late Mr. Dominic Colnaghi, into whose shop there walked
one day a man who said he had some little pictures to sell that he had
bought with a "job lot" of old silver and gold from a working jeweller.
These "little pictures" turned out to be no less a prize than a number
of miniatures formerly in the collection of Charles I., which, as
we know, was dispersed at the time of the Commonwealth. In the days
of the King's prosperity these had been catalogued and described by
the Royal Librarian, the conscientious Dutchman Van der Doort, and
these miniatures bore on their back a crown and the royal cipher,
the entwined C's. Now, after all their vicissitudes, these priceless
historical miniatures rest in Montagu House, Whitehall, barely a
stone's throw from the window in the banqueting-hall of the palace
whence their Royal one-time owner stepped forth upon the scaffold on
that bitter winter morning of January 30, 1649. By the word "luck" in
connection with this acquisition, I mean that they might have been
taken to any one else but Dominic Colnaghi, in which case there is but
little likelihood of their having formed part of the famous Buccleuch

In truth, it may be said that there is no royal road for the collection
of miniatures, and especially in these days, when so many sharp
eyes are on the look-out for them. If you go to the auction-room
you are confronted with that iniquitous institution known as
the "knock-out," which not only debars the owner from getting the
full value of his property, but often prevents the would-be private
purchaser from acquiring it at all.

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_Col. W. H. Walker._)


(_Col. W. H. Walker._)]

To be a successful collector of miniatures demands that one should be
conversant with their market value, which, in its turn, presupposes
some knowledge of the various painters and the characteristics of their
work. Here again, I make so bold as to assert, there is no royal road.
Knowledge of this sort, like most other knowledge worth possessing, has
to be acquired by experience, by patience, and by degrees. The various
handbooks which have appeared in such plenty of late years professing
to teach "How to Identify this" and "How to Collect that" are, no
doubt, valuable in their way, but, in my opinion, are apt to lead the
inexperienced collector to believe that the discrimination and the
judgment essential to safety are more easily acquired than is likely to
be the case in so difficult a pursuit.

And it is difficult, because, as no doubt the reader will often
have observed for himself, it is so very frequently the case that
miniatures do not bear the names of either the person whom they are
intended to represent, or of the artist who drew the likeness. So
that the collector who would judge of some little head, it may be, is
thrown back upon the necessity of having an intimate knowledge of the
technical characteristics and qualities of the work before him, which
is often the sole test that he can apply and the trifling clue he has
to follow. In the case of old silver there are, at any rate, the
stamps to guide the connoisseur, to say nothing of other differences
which I need not stop to point out. Most old china, too, is marked.

Again, as with china, and also with silver, there is the forger to
beware of, and he constitutes a very real danger, even to collectors
of experience, because the forgery of miniatures is brought in these
days almost to the level of a fine art, and the ingenuity employed to
deceive is indeed remarkable. Take by way of illustration the practice
of painting miniatures upon old playing-cards--or what appear to be
old playing-cards, for I am told that such things as the latter are
expressly fabricated. In the days of the Stuarts miniatures were
painted upon pieces of playing-cards, and when framed they were often
backed up by one or two other pieces fitted in behind them. These
latter pieces afford valuable opportunity for the forger's exertions.
Old papier-mâché frames, from which some silhouette or comparatively
worthless portrait has been taken, are employed to mislead the unwary.
A copy, painted only the week before, is put into some old frame of the
eighteenth century, and although costing but a few shillings (and dear
at that), is offered at as many guineas to the confiding collector,
who, if he falls into the trap, thinks he has got a bargain, as no
doubt he would have if--_if_ only the prize were an original, and what
it professed to be.

Then the manufacture of copies of well-known examples in public
collections is carried on unblushingly and upon a wholesale scale. I
have had large leather cases of such things, containing tray after
tray of them, offered me repeatedly, and "upon highly advantageous
terms." These are the work of continental copyists, German and French.
In Paris they may be found by the gross in the shops of the Rue de
Rivoli and in the purlieus of the Palais Royal. And let not the
collector make light of this persistent fabrication, because, remember,
they _are_ bought by somebody. The distribution of them is going on, as
Americans say, "all the time." They become dispersed and crop up again
under all sorts of circumstances, from all kinds of sources; they have
endless fictitious origins given to them. Generally you are told that
they have been in the possessor's family for untold generations, and
that the grandfather of the would-be vendor refused a fabulous sum for

Perhaps the best advice that I, as one of some experience in such
matters, can give, is to be summed up in the word "caution." I say,
then, use caution, and always caution, and once more caution.

There remains the alternative of acquiring miniatures by private
treaty, often a somewhat delicate matter.

It would not be difficult to write an essay on the Ethics of
Collecting, but it might be hard to discriminate with nicety between
the use the collector is justified in making of his superior knowledge,
to the detriment of the possessor, because we must not forget that when
a bargain is "picked up," the _owner_ does not benefit much. It is of
the essence of "a bargain" that the coveted object--whether it be old
china, old furniture, jewels, or what not--shall be acquired below
its customary, real, and interchangeable value. Well, that clearly is
a transaction in which both parties cannot reap the advantage, and
the gain of the one is measured exactly by the loss of the other. The
tactics of the buyer are well understood in the East, where they are
universally practised to-day, as they have been for untold centuries.
Do we not read in Proverbs, "The buyer saith it is naught, it is
naught, and when he goeth his way he rejoiceth"?

But enough on a matter which, after all, must be left to the individual
conscience, always supposing a "collector" has one.

Uncertainty and confusion often arise in the mind of purchasers owing
to miniature painters of widely different abilities bearing similar
names, and sometimes owning the same initials. It is important,
therefore, to be able to discriminate in such cases. Thus we shall find
three "Arlauds" and an "Artaud," though I suspect the last named is a
misprint. It occurs on a miniature shown at Kensington in 1865.

Amongst the early men there represented were two Betts, or Bettes,
Thomas and John, probably brothers, though their relationship is really

One frequently hears a work described as an enamel by H. Bone. There
were two--Henry, the father, a Royal Academician, and Henry Pierce
Bone, his son. There were also two grandsons of Henry Bone, viz., W.
and C. R., who practised between 1826 and 1851. The latter of these
contributed no less than sixty-seven miniatures to the Royal
Academy. In 1801 there was also an enamel shown at the Academy by P. J.

[Illustration: A JACOBITE BADGE.


(_A. Lang, Esq._)]


(_Victoria and Albert Museum_)]

[Illustration: CHARLES I. IN HIS OWN HAIR.

(_Shelley family._)]

A. E. Chalon, R.A., was a miniature painter; he was brother to
John James Chalon, R.A. Miss M. A. Chalon, the miniaturist, was a
daughter of Henry Bernard Chalon, and no relation to the above-named

Lawrence Crosse must be distinguished from Richard Crosse, whom he
preceded by many years.

As we all know, many good miniatures were painted by Maria, wife of
Richard Cosway.

There were two Collins, both admirable miniaturists, but no relation to
each other, viz., Samuel, master of Ozias Humphrey, R.A., and Richard
Collins, pupil of Jeremiah Meyer, R.A.

Samuel Cooper had an elder and less accomplished brother, Alexander.

Alexander Day must not be confounded with Thomas Day, nor with Edward
Dayes, whose wife was also a miniature painter.

William Derby had a son Alfred T. Derby, a miniature painter like his

Then we must distinguish between John Dixon, the pupil of Lely, who was
made "Keeper of the King's picture closet" by William III.; John Dixon,
the mezzotint engraver, and N. Dixon.

The last named was an excellent miniature painter who is well
represented in the Buccleuch Collection, although unmentioned in
Redgrave's "Dictionary." There were eleven works by him shown at the
Winter Exhibition of the Royal Academy in 1879 portraits of the
period of the Restoration and somewhat later. In the catalogue of
this exhibition Dixon is called Nathaniel; Mr. Goulding, the Duke of
Portland's librarian, informs me there is evidence at Welbeck that this
artist's Christian name was Nicholas.

There were two Englehearts, viz., George and his less talented nephew,
J. C. D.

William Essex had a son William B. Essex, also an enameller.

I find two Ferriers, F. and L., probably father and son, and three
Goupeys, Louis, also the brothers Joseph and Bernard.

Mrs. Mary Green was no relation to her contemporary, Robert Green, also
a miniaturist.

Richard Gibson, the dwarf, had a daughter, Susan Penelope, and a nephew
William, who both followed his profession.

Charles Hayter was eclipsed as a miniature painter by his son, Sir

There was a Moses Haughton, or Houghton, an enameller, who had a
nephew, also named Moses, a miniaturist.

D. Heins and John Heins, his son, both painted miniatures at Norwich.

Nicholas and Lawrence Hilliard, father and son, are probably often

There are said to be two Hoskins, both John, also father and son.

Two out of the three Hones were miniaturists, viz., Nathaniel, R.A.,
and his grandson, Horace Hone, A.R.A.

Thomas Hopkins was an enameller, and William Hopkins a miniature

There were several artists of the name of Lens, viz., Bernard Lens,
enameller, who had a son Bernard, an engraver, and a grandson (also
Bernard), enamel painter to George II.; whilst Andrew Benjamin Lens and
Peter Paul Lens, each miniature painters, are assumed to have been sons
of the last-named Bernard.

G. M. Moser, R.A., had a nephew an enameller, named Joseph Moser. His
daughter Mary was celebrated as a flower painter, but I do not find
that she painted miniatures.

The short-lived Richard Newton should be distinguished from Sir William
John Newton.

Daniel and John O'Keefe were brothers, and both miniaturists.

Isaac and Peter Oliver were father and son.

Of the two Plimers, Andrew and Nathaniel, brothers, the latter was the
inferior artist.

Alexander Pope, the poet, was an industrious amateur artist; but there
was another Alexander Pope, an Irish miniature painter, who exhibited
at the Royal Academy from 1787 to 1821, and who was also an actor; he
played at Covent Garden in 1783.

Andrew Robertson, the well-known Scottish miniature painter, had two
brothers, of inferior artistic ability to himself; they both had the
same initial, namely A, one being Archibald, the other Alexander.
There was a Mrs. A. Robertson who also painted miniatures; she was a
Miss Saunders, niece of George Saunders the miniature painter. She
worked in this country in the early part of the nineteenth century;
going to St. Petersburg in 1847, she was elected a member of the
Russian Imperial Academy. Two other Robertsons, the brothers Walter and
Charles, practised in Dublin at the end of the eighteenth century, the
latter excelling in female portraits.

The Petitots, father and son, were both named John.

One of the most familiar names amongst British miniature painters is
that of Ross, and Sir William Charles Ross may be said to have been the
last of the old school. His father (H. Ross) and mother both painted
miniatures. Then there was also an H. Ross, jun., who exhibited at the
Academy from 1815 to 1845; a Miss Magdalene Ross, who became Mrs. Edwin
Dalton, and exhibited for over twenty years, and finally a Miss Maria

There were two Sadlers, Thomas of the seventeenth century, and William
Sadler, who flourished in the eighteenth century.

I shall mention only two Smiths, both sons of Smith of Derby, viz.,
Thomas Correggio, the elder and John Raphael Smith.

Two William Sherlocks exhibited miniatures at the Royal Academy in 1803.

Joseph and William Singleton were contemporary exhibitors during the
last century.

Of the three Saunders, George L. is the most distinguished; the other
two, Joseph and R., were father and son.

Finally, there were three Smarts known as miniaturists, viz., Samuel
Paul and the two John Smarts, father and son, besides Anthony Smart
and his two daughters.

I shall have something more to say later in this volume about several
of the artists whom I have just mentioned, but here I may refer to a
miniature painter who may well be placed in a class by herself, for
she painted without hands or feet. This lady was a Mrs. Wright, _née_
Sarah Biffin; nothing daunted by her apparently overwhelming physical
disabilities, she learnt drawing, and in 1821 was awarded a medal by
the Society of Arts.

I am not aware of other miniature painters handicapped as Miss Biffin
must have been. But I know of several other artists who have worked
without hands, _e.g._, C. F. Felu, a Belgian painter, who was a
familiar figure in the Antwerp Gallery, where he painted for many
years, and copied hundreds of the masterpieces therein. He held his
palette with his left great toe placed through the orifice in which
it is usual to put the thumb, and used the brush with his other foot
with astonishing freedom and precision. I remember to have seen him
fasten the small metal hooks of his colour box with the utmost ease and
celerity. Then there was W. Carter, who, having neither hands nor feet,
drew exquisitely with his mouth; and of late years Mr. Bartram Hiles,
deprived of his arms by a tramcar accident, has shown what a noble
enthusiasm to practise as an artist can enable a man to do.


"First catch your hare," said Mrs. Glass in her immortal cookery-book.
And now, the reader having collected miniatures, or being their
fortunate possessor by inheritance or otherwise, it is not unimportant
to know how to take proper care of them. These delicate works of
art are always subject to the attacks of two enemies, and they are
insidious enemies, although of widely different natures. The one is
sunlight, and the other is damp, which brings mildew and disfigurement
in its train.

It is really melancholy to see, as one so often does, the terrible
destruction which has been wrought by these two agencies, a destruction
the nature and extent of which are, perhaps, only fully realised when
one is fortunate enough to come across a work by a fine miniature
painter in anything like its pristine condition. I am talking of old
miniatures, of course, and have in my mind as I write a portrait, by
one of the Olivers, I think, of Henry, Prince of Wales, that I saw in
one of those interesting historical exhibitions at the New Gallery;
the Stuart it must have been. This miniature was surrounded by many
others, ostensibly by the same artists, and by examples of contemporary
painters. It doubtless had been kept covered up during the many years
it had been painted, and thus had a freshness and vigour which was
absolutely startling in comparison with the faded, ghostlike specimens
to be seen around. Indeed, it is only when we see a good miniature
in anything like its original condition that we can grasp and fully
appreciate the strength and beauty of the earlier masters, and admit,
without any doubt or qualification, their claim to our admiration.

[Illustration: QUEEN ELIZABETH.

(_Harcourt family._)]

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_J. Davison, Esq._)]

Take another painter, Nicholas Hilliard. A most prolific artist he
would seem to be, judging from the number of examples by him that I
have met with; speaking generally, one may say that all his work is
marked by flatness in the flesh-painting. This artist was appointed
painter of miniatures to Queen Elizabeth, and we are told that he
was instructed to paint her royal features without any shadows. My
point is that nearly all his work is marked more or less by the same
peculiarity. Now this may be the result of a fashion set by the Virgin
Queen, and, as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (and she was
very fond of flattery), that may in part account for the frequently
ghostlike effect of the faces in Hilliard's work; but my own opinion is
that in nearly all of them the carnations have flown, as artists say.

That constant source of mischief--exposure to light--is always to
be guarded against. Owners are, it must be said, very careless in
such matters. I have seen in the morning-rooms of great houses most
valuable miniatures hung on the shutters, or stuck about on a screen,
placed perhaps in the embrasure of a window. No doubt the owners like
to be surrounded by such things, but they should at least have some
consideration for posterity. In such a room as I have spoken of you
may perhaps see a case of miniatures hung over the mantelpiece, with
a hot chimney behind them. Within my own experience I have known most
disastrous results, from that cause alone, in the case of historical
miniatures of great value, belonging to a noble owner who shall be

Turning now to the other great disfigurement which so often besets
miniatures--the ravages made by mildew. This, in some instances, can be
traced to the fact of cases containing miniatures being hung against a
damp wall. Probably the simple expedient of a piece of cork, fastened
at each corner on the back of the case, would have proved a safeguard.
This would prevent contact with the wall, and allow of a current of
air passing up behind. Although the fungus which results from damp is
terribly disfiguring, it dies off in time, leaving a yellow stain. This
can be removed by a skilful hand and careful treatment, and, in so far,
is a less-to-be-dreaded enemy than light, or I should say sunlight.
This latter, of course, can be easily guarded against by another
simple expedient, which is, either to keep your miniatures locked up
in drawers, or, if you must have them on your walls, have a small rod
fastened to the top of your case, with a dark curtain on it which you
can draw back at pleasure.

But I have heard some collectors say, "My miniatures have never been
put against damp walls; they have been kept in cases always, yet they
have mildew on them." Well, it must be admitted that this unsightly,
objectionable fungus does appear unexpectedly and in the best regulated
households. No doubt the germs were there, shut into the case; in due
course they have been developed, bringing perplexity and dismay with

       *       *       *       *       *

Miniatures of a comparatively recent type, that is to say upon ivory
(as well-informed collectors know, it was not until the early Georgian
period that this substance was used to paint on)--miniatures on ivory,
I repeat, are subject to curl, warp, and crack; changes of temperature
easily affect the thin slices which the artist uses; when one of these
splits, as it often does, the only thing to be done is carefully to lay
the pieces down on cardboard, joining the edges as skilfully as may be,
a task only to be performed satisfactorily by an expert.

The large miniatures by Sir William Ross, Sir W. J. Newton, and R.
Thorburn are particularly liable to this mischief, the reason for which
is to be found in the practice of these artists in employing several
pieces of ivory for one picture.

A large slab, the largest procurable, taken from the circumference of a
tusk, rolled flat under great pressure, was laid down by gutta-percha
upon a well-seasoned mahogany panel; round this on all sides were laid
other strips of ivory, the whole forming a large surface upon which
it was possible to paint an elaborate composition, proportionately
expensive, (for that, I take it, was the principal incentive to the
artist). Such pictures as these represented great labour--for you
cannot "wash in colour" on ivory--and being highly finished all over,
warranted the artists in asking high prices, and they obtained them.

Other dangers there are, arising from the cupidity excited by the
value of these little works, so easily removed, and often in valuable
settings. But risks from those who break through and steal are common
to all valuables, and owners of property are alive to them. Yet these
few words of reminder and caution against pilferers will, I trust, not
be deemed out of place.





When we come to get a little familiar with old miniatures, to have
learned their language, as it were, we shall find that, if they
are authentic portraits, they possess, in addition to their high
personal interest, other and distinct values as illustrations of
art, of history, and of costume. They are, in fact, when genuine
and contemporary, precious documents, some of which go back several
centuries, and are of great service in reading the history of the past.
They have, like other works of art, their definite origins; and so,
too, they have their own separate and distinct characteristics, and it
is upon these and such-like aspects of the study that I propose now to
say a few words.

As in the case of so many arts and religions, it is to the Orient, that
cradle of them all, as far as our present knowledge allows us to know,
that we must turn our eyes, if we wish to find the earliest source of
the practice. There is no doubt whatever that the Egyptian papyri were
rubricated, and we may safely conclude that the use of gold, silver,
and colour in the ornamentation of MSS. found its way from the valley
of the Nile into Greece. Thence Greek artists took it to Rome, and from
Rome the use spread throughout Europe.

Many choice historical miniatures have long pedigrees, and it may be
worth while to see how far back we can definitely trace the practice of
the fascinating art which gave them birth.

On this point I may quote the opinion of the late Keeper of the
Department of Engravings in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, M. Henri
Bouchot. He had made, as is well known, a close and profound study of
the art of the French "Primitifs," and therefore the conclusions that
he arrived at may, I think, be very safely taken on this subject.

Writing many years ago in the _Gazette des Beaux Arts_, he said the
origin of miniature painting "is lost in the obscurity of the ninth
century." He contended that the heads which are to be found in MSS. of
that period, the work of monkish artists, are intended to represent
some well-known prince, emperor, or pope of that time. He suggested
that the painter, shut up in his monastery, could only paint such a
portrait from hearsay, and from information which he gathered from
brethren of his Order, or from neighbouring great nobles with whom he
came in contact, and who, in their turn, had seen the original of such
a portrait or portraits.

If this distinguished French critic be right, it follows that at that
remote date such representations could have been little less than
pure inventions; and such, indeed, he would have us suppose to be
the case for several centuries more. But at the commencement of the
fourteenth century it would seem that the illuminators set themselves
to render the real portraiture of individuals; and here, from our point
of view, the especial interest of the subject may be said to begin.



(_Wallace Collection._)]

The art, then, may be traced to the illuminated devotional
manuscripts, Books of the Hours, or Lives of the Saints, enshrining
minute, exquisite, and loving labour. Who these early artists of
the Scriptorium were we shall never know; but the manuscripts which
have escaped the wreck of Time have come down to us, silent yet
eloquent testimonies of their authors' patience and skill. It is in
connection with their beautiful work that the word "miniature" came
into existence, the term being derived from the Latin _minium_, or
red lead, that being the pigment in which the capital letters in the
manuscripts were drawn. The art of medieval illumination was expressed
by the Latin verb _miniare_; the word thus will be seen to be closely
allied to our term "rubric." The persons employed in this work seem
to have been classified as Miniatori, Miniatori Caligrifi, or Pulchri
Scriptores. The first named painted scenes from Scripture stories, also
the exquisite borders and arabesques. To the others would be entrusted
the writing of the body of the book.

But whilst we may thus go back to medieval times for the origin of the
name, it can hardly be said to have been in use with us before the
beginning of the eighteenth century. Thus Samuel Pepys never uses the
word, while Horace Walpole constantly does so. An entry in the Diary
of the former, made in 1668, speaks of his wife's picture which Samuel
Cooper painted for him; and earlier--that is, in 1662--John Evelyn
relates how he was called in to the closet of the King (Charles II.),
and "saw Mr. Cooper, the rare limner, crayoning of the King's face and
head to make the stamps by for the new milled money now contriving."

The reader will observe that no mention of the word "miniature" is made
by either writer. And there is something arbitrary in the use of the
word now and always, for it is restricted to portraits in water-colours
or gouache, whether on vellum, paper, or ivory. Yet figures when
painted in oil, even though as small as Gerard Dow's, or not more than
two or three inches high, are called small pictures. When the most
important exhibition of miniatures ever held in this country--namely,
the collection which was brought together at South Kensington, in
1865--was being arranged, its organisers were confronted with the
difficulty attaching to a definition of the term; and it may be worth
while to give the conclusion they arrived at.

In reply to the question, What constitutes a miniature portrait? they
remark that miniatures may be drawn on any material, painted in any
medium, and in every style of art. Commencing with the head only, to
which the skill of some of our early "face painters" was limited, we
find their works followed by miniature half-lengths, whole-lengths,
and groups; but from these no technical, accepted definition of the
term "miniature" can be derived. Without, therefore, attempting to
lay down a rule, it was deemed best in the interests of the exhibition
to accept all such works as were drawn to a small scale and were, in
manner, of a miniature character, except paintings on porcelain.

[Illustration: UNKNOWN.



(_Duke of Rutland._)]

Returning to the origin of the term, we see that it was the
ornamentation of the office of the Mass in use in the Christian Church
which really gave rise to it. Under the protection of Constantine,
Christian art may be said to have come into existence in the fourth
century at Byzantium. Work of this period has a very strongly marked
and sufficiently familiar character of its own. The Canterbury Gospels
in the British Museum are ascribed to the eighth century, and the
Louvre possesses a noble work in the shape of the Prayer Book of
Charlemagne, which belongs to the ninth century. It is to Charlemagne
that we owe the Carlovingian school, and when the tomb of the great
Emperor, at Aix-la-Chapelle, was opened, a copy of the Gospels was
found upon his knees.

Another very interesting school is the Hibernian, sometimes called
Anglo-Celtic. A characteristic feature of this work is the inferiority
of the figure-drawing, but the elaborate and beautiful interlacing of
the geometrical patterns is no less remarkable. Perhaps the best-known
example of this school is the Book of Kells, preserved in Trinity
College, Dublin. Brought from the abbey church of Kells in 1621 by
Archbishop Ussher, it was confiscated during the Commonwealth, but
restored to Trinity College by Charles II. after the Restoration.

Still dealing with the early work of this nature, I may briefly refer
to what is known as Opus Anglicum, of which the Benedictional of St.
Ethelwald, belonging to the Duke of Devonshire, is the most celebrated
example. This belongs to the latter part of the tenth century, as
we know by a Dedication it contains, showing that it was made for
Ethelwald, Bishop of Winchester from 963 to 984 A.D. The
Bishop "commanded a certain monk subject to him (the scribe Godeman)
to write the present book, and ordered also to be made in it certain
arches, elegantly decorated and filled up with various ornamental
pictures expressed in divers beautiful colours and gold."

And so we might go on to consider the various Continental schools--the
Flemish and German, the French and Italian--but the subject is too
large to be dealt with here. Those of my readers who care to pursue a
fascinating study will find ample illustration in the freely displayed
treasures of the British Museum, where fine examples of every school
may be seen. At Hertford House the Wallace Collection, amongst its
multifarious treasures, contains some initial letters which have
been cut out of MSS., no doubt on account of their beauty. They are
obviously portraiture. The example here shown is Italian work, and is
taken from a fifteenth-century missal.

Whilst I am unable to enter upon details of the earliest schools, I may
observe that the material upon which work of this nature was done has
a practical bearing upon our subject. It was upon vellum, sometimes
stained purple, upon which the letters were written in gold or silver.
There is a magnificent example of this work, known as the Codex
Purpureo-Argenteus, preserved at Upsala, in Sweden. This has been dated
as early as A.D. 360. And I remember the pride with which the
monks in the remote monastery on the Isle of Patmos showed me five
pages of one of the Gospels, also on vellum, stained purple, which
had been preserved in their library with religious care for unknown
centuries. The surface of the vellum, naturally greasy, would have to
be carefully prepared for the art of the "steyners," as they came to be
called. When so prepared it was called _Pecorella_.


(_Duke of Rutland._)]

To vellum succeeded cardboard. Nicholas Hilliard and the great English
miniature painter Samuel Cooper commonly used old playing cards; and a
very good substance for the purpose they were, not being so liable to
cockle as vellum, nor to crack, curl, and split as ivory under certain
conditions is liable to do. It has already been noted that ivory
did not come into use for such purposes until about the end of the
seventeenth or beginning of the eighteenth century.

This is a very important point in detecting forgeries, and, indeed, in
determining the age of any work about which doubt may exist.

The way to paint miniatures is no part of the subject of this book;
nevertheless, by way of giving a practical value to its pages, I may
state the method employed by a miniature painter with whom I was
well acquainted and whose work I greatly admired, and this seems a
convenient place to do so. The artist to whom I refer was the late
Robert Henderson, a self-taught man, born in Dumfries. He lived to
the close of the nineteenth century, but the manner of his execution
was essentially that of the mid-Victorian painters, and whilst it had
not quite the brilliancy of the flesh tones of Sir William Ross, for
example, whose work he greatly admired, it was always conscientious,
sound, and excellent.

Without being laboured, it was always marked by a careful finish. He
was a frequent exhibitor in the Royal Academy, but was indifferent to
the distinction, having constant employment from Messrs. Dickinson for
a long series of years, during which he painted a large number of the
British aristocracy. I am able to subjoin some account of his method of
working and choice of colours from particulars he gave me himself, and
as they may be useful to others, I extract them pretty much in his own

"Having chosen a piece of ivory of good colour and even texture,
prepare its surface by rubbing it with the finest glass paper. The
first step is to draw the likeness with a blacklead pencil on paper,
not on the ivory itself, because, if any corrections are needed,
they cannot be made without smudging and making the ivory dirty, a
thing to be studiously avoided. This drawing should then be carefully
transferred to the surface of the ivory by means of a piece of tracing

"Now take a nice flat sable brush, and wash the face all over with a
flesh colour, then indicate the features, eyes, and so forth, touching
in the nostrils and mouth. Next prepare a grey tint, made of cobalt
or ultramarine with a tinge of red to give it a lilac tint. Wash this
all round the outer part of the face--not touching the centre of the
face. Then with a little blue mixed with the flesh colour, work up the
face until you get somewhat the effect of an engraving. This being
done, you may proceed to put in the deepest shadows, _e.g._, under the
nose and eyebrows, with a warm colour composed of a light red with a
little blue in it. Having got your deep shadows in, use the grey again,
this time with a little more flesh colour, and blend the whole together.



(_Earl Spencer._)]

"For a flesh colour I used to employ rose madder and cadmium yellow in
about equal proportions; for men's complexions light red alone makes
a good flesh wash. There is a new red brought out which is warranted
to be thoroughly permanent; it is a useful colour, called mazarine,
and comes in for everything. There have been suspicions cast upon rose
madder, but I have found it stand well enough in ordinary miniature
painting. Carmine was used by Sir William Ross and Thorburn, certainly,
but that was apt to go dark in colour. The madders are very delicate

"Eyes--for hazel use burnt sienna and French ultramarine, real
ultramarine being very expensive. For ordinary dark brown eyes nothing
is better than sepia; for blue eyes it depends on the shade--if bright
strong blue, cobalt is the best colour; for grey eyes use cobalt and
a little light red--the latter very sparingly. Cat's eyes (by which
I mean greenish) require peculiar colouring, which must depend on
circumstances and be treated accordingly.

"Hair is a troublesome thing to get right. For golden hair I use a
very thin wash of burnt sienna; for the half tones a purple tint--blue
and red mixed in equal parts, and for the deep shadows burnt sienna.
For ordinary dark hair nothing is better than sepia, and for the high
lights a purple grey--blue and a touch of red--that gives a glossiness
to the hair. For grey hair simply mix sepia and ultramarine; for red
hair burnt sienna is used principally, shaded with sepia in the dark

"Backgrounds--for the ordinary, deep, plain, brownish, the best thing
is a wash of burnt sienna and ultramarine, in proportions as required
to obtain warmer or cooler effects. For a cloudy sky or background use
cobalt for the blue and light red mixed with cobalt for the deeper
shadows; where the shadows come near the figure, use brown madder and
cobalt; touch the edges of the clouds with light red alone, to give a
warm, cloudy effect.

"Draperies--for a man's black coat use blue-black and cobalt, mixed in
about equal proportions, and a little madder lake; put in the shadows
with sepia. For a lady's black silk use much the same, only less
blue-black and more cobalt, with a little light red in it; use sepia
again for the shadows, as it gives a warmer tone than black itself. If
lights are required on a black coat when it is too black, body colour
must be used--white, with a little light red mixed with it."





The subject of enamel has a close relation to that of these pages,
although its uses, as need hardly be said, far transcend the limits of
portraiture. Every substance, whether earthenware, stone, or metal,
to which a vitreous substance can be made to adhere by heat may be
enamelled, but this term is usually restricted to metalwork ornamented
by a vitreous glaze. As in the case of illuminated manuscripts, we find
the earliest instances of the use of enamel in Egypt, and Dr. Birch is
our authority for believing that there was a method of inlaying glass,
jasper, and lapis lazuli, which resembled enamel in effect, employed
as far back as the Fourth Egyptian Dynasty--that is to say, some four
thousand years before the Christian era. The Chinese have had it in
use for unknown centuries, and it was applied by the Etruscans and
Greeks to enrich their jewellery. It has been found employed for horse
trappings and for human ornaments, such as brooches, bracelets, and
rings, both in this country and in Ireland, under circumstances which
lead us to assign it to pre-Roman days.

But it is with the seat of Roman power on the Bosphorus, namely,
Byzantium, in the early Christian centuries, that antique enamels
seem most closely associated; and the museums of Europe contain great
numbers of marvellous works of this description originating from that
source. What has come down to us is for the most part intended for
ecclesiastical use; reliquaries, diptychs, triptychs, the covers of
missals, chalices, crosses, and objects of a like nature abound. On
many of these there are what may, in a sense, be termed portraits
of saints and ecclesiastical dignitaries; but it is obvious that no
attempt at likeness, as we moderns understand it, can have been made
in this work of the fourth to the eleventh centuries. This Byzantine
style and influence, which have left such a deep mark in art, may be
said to survive to this day in the ritual of the Greek Church; but
that is another story. I may remark that the Byzantine work is for the
most part what is called _cloisonné_; this term, and one of a somewhat
similar sound, namely _champlevé_, is constantly used in descriptions
of old enamel, and it may be well, therefore, to define what is meant
by each respectively.

The former has been described by M. Lebarte as being made in the
following manner: "The plate of metal intended as a foundation was
first provided with a little rim to retain the enamel. Slender strips
of gold of the same depth as the rim were then bent in short lengths
and fashioned to form the outline of the pattern. These short bits
were then fixed upright upon the plate. The metal outline being thus
arranged, the intervening spaces were filled with the different
enamels, reduced to a fine powder and moistened into a paste. The piece
was then placed in the furnace, and when the fusion was complete, was
withdrawn, with certain precautions that the cooling might be effected
gradually. The enamel, when thoroughly cold, was ground and polished.
It is easy to comprehend that the old artists must have used very pure
gold and extremely fusible enamels, in order that the plate might not
be injured from the action of the fire or the thin strips of metal be
melted by the heat which fused the paste."

[Illustration: AFTER J. HYSING.


The method of preparing _champlevé_ is as follows: "A slender line of
metal shows on the surface the principal outlines of the design; but
the outline, instead of being arranged in detached pieces, is formed
out of a portion of the plate itself. The artist, having polished a
piece of metal about a quarter of an inch thick, generally copper,
traced upon it the outlines of his subject; then, with proper tools he
hollowed out all the spaces to be filled with the different enamels,
leaving slender lines level with the original surface to keep them
distinct. The vitreous matter, either dry or reduced to a paste, was
then introduced into the cavities, and fusion was effected by the same
process as in the _cloisonné_ enamels. After the piece had become cold
it was polished, and the exposed lines of copper having been gilded,
it was returned to the fire. The gilding only required a moderate
temperature, not high enough to injure the incrustations of enamel."

Byzantium, as I have said, was a great seat of the _cloisonné_ process,
and the celebrated "Pala d'oro," a magnificent altar front now
preserved at St. Mark's, Venice, was made at Constantinople about the
year 1100. In _champlevé_ enamelling, although the art was practised
in the Rhenish provinces of Germany, it was at Limoges, in France,
that the finest work was done, and in the thirteenth century _opus
Lemoviticum_ was in high favour. A century later, when the city was
sacked by the troops of Edward the Black Prince, the manufacture
received a great check. But with the Renaissance came a renewed demand
for enamels, which were used in combination with articles of domestic
utility, and in the reign of Francis the First the enamellers of
Limoges, among whom Suzanne de Court, Laudin, Jehan Courtois, and
Pierre Reymond are well known, produced decorative works of the most
costly and beautiful nature. Whole families devoted themselves to the
art, and their traditions were handed on from generation to generation.
But perhaps the most famous name in connection with this French work is
that of Léonard Limousin, and three others, namely, Jean, Joseph, and
François, of the same family.

Léonard Limousin, who was appointed painter to the king, François I.,
has expressed in numerous pieces which have come from his hand the very
spirit of the Renaissance, partly devotional and still more strongly
classical and sensuous in feeling and treatment. Old Limoges enamel,
as we all know, is extremely valuable; single pieces from the Hamilton
Palace Collection were sold at Christie's in the celebrated sale for
something like £2,000 apiece.

The subject is far too wide to be treated exhaustively in this book,
but at the Victoria and Albert Museum examples will be found of the
various styles, and the varied uses to which they were applied. The
British Museum of late years has been enriched by what is known as
the Waddesdon Collection, bequeathed by the late Baron Ferdinand de
Rothschild; and in Paris the Cluny Museum, and especially the Salle
d'Apollon in the Louvre, are extremely rich in works of this nature.

[Illustration: AFTER DANCE.



All these collections contain portraiture in enamel, but one would
hesitate to say that the portrait is the primary object in the
production of these works, in which undoubtedly a decorative feeling
largely predominates.

Although in the general treatment they were feeling their way to a
larger palette, no attempt seems to have been made by these earlier
artists to get anything approaching reality in the flesh tones; they
were left a uniform cold white. Until one has got a little used to this
absence of colour, and the metallic hardness which the use of oxide of
tin in the paste of the enamel gave rise to, and until one recognises
that it is the conventional mode of treating them, the pallor of the
faces, contrasted, as it generally is, with a deep blue, or sometimes
shining black background, is somewhat repellent.

Take, for example, the large medallion of the Cardinal de Lorraine,
Charles de Guise, uncle to Mary Stuart, a piece which cost the nation
£2,000, and may be seen at Kensington. It represents the Cardinal in
scarlet robes and a biretta. The head, fully seven inches long, is
painted upon a deep blue ground; his hair is black, the eyes are
blue, and the effect of the whole is, it must be admitted, extremely
hard, in spite of the distinguished name its author, Léonard Limousin,
bears in the ranks of medieval enamellers. The work is as different as
possible from the exquisite minuteness which characterises other enamel
painters, like Petitot, for instance, to whom we shall come by and by.

The same lack of modelling and of half-tones may be observed in the
portraits in the Waddesdon room at the British Museum, to which
reference has already been made. See, for example, the large panel,
9 inches by 12, or thereabouts, of Catherine de Lorraine, Duchess de
Montpensier. This lady wears her hair in a golden and jewelled net; her
open collar is laced with pearls; this piece is also signed Limousin,
and may be regarded as a typical sixteenth-century portrait.

The step forward which was to elevate the art of painting in enamel
to the highest possible pitch of technical execution, of artistic
treatment and minute finish, was taken by Jean Petitot, a Genevan,
born in 1609. Apart from the wonderful skill of the artist, who, in
respect of technique, must be considered absolutely unique, the means
by which such beautiful, delicate, and minute effects could be produced
in so difficult an art as that of fusing colours would be in itself an
interesting study.

Probably it is to Jean Toutin, an obscure French goldsmith, who lived
at Châteaudun, and, assisted by Isaac Gribelin, a painter in pastels,
and doubtless by his son, Henri Toutin, of Blois, produced, about
1632, a variety of colours which he found could be laid upon a thin
ground of white enamel, and passed through a furnace with scarcely any
change of tint, that Petitot owed the richness of his palette. From
Toutin, and from Pierre Bordier, another French goldsmith, to whom he
was apprenticed, Petitot gained the insight into enamelling which bore
such rich fruit when he came to this country in his twenty-eighth year,
attracted, there is little doubt, by the reputation then enjoyed by our
king, Charles I., as a patron of art.

The English monarch had in his service as physician at that time a
certain Sir Turquet de Mayerne, himself a Genevan and a chemist of
European celebrity. He and Petitot pursued scientific research into
the nature and properties of the metallic oxides with such ardour and
success that the miniature painter's palette became greatly enriched,
and he was able to express all the _nuances_ of flesh colouring in a
way which had never before been approached and, I may add, has never
been surpassed.

When one realises the extraordinary minuteness and exquisite finish
of a work of Petitot, and the difficulties of the method--by which I
mean the risks attending the firing--it is almost incredible that such
success could be attained; but probably there were large numbers of
failures of which the world knows nothing.

In some of the Limoges work we see attempts at colouring the cheeks;
but the result is not satisfactory; whereas in Petitot it leaves
absolutely nothing to be desired, and the most minute differences of
character find expression in the art of this wonderful man. Take as
an example the two portraits of Louis XIV., to be seen in the Jones
Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum, one representing the
Grand Monarque when young, the other in more advanced years; or, from
the same Collection, take the portraits of Mme. de Montespan and
Mlle. de la Vallière; and compare these again with the insipidity and
monotony of Lely and Kneller, the two artists most in vogue in this
country at that time; here you have upon a small piece of gold, perhaps
hardly bigger than a finger-nail, nearly all that may be looked for
in a portrait, coupled with a perfection of technical execution to
which it is impossible to do justice in words. One comes away from an
examination of that admirable collection which the nation owes to the
generosity of Mr. John Jones with a paramount feeling of astonishment,
wondering how such work was done.

Of course Petitot has had innumerable imitators; and although the
standard of the Collection to which reference has just been made is
very high, there are in it examples which are instructive, and serve to
show how supreme the master was in his own line. A contemporary pupil,
namely Jacques Bordier, was a cousin of the Pierre Bordier, Petitot's
old master and colleague, of whom I have just spoken. According to M.
Reiset this Jacques Bordier also worked in England with Petitot. Like
Petitot, he returned to the Continent, and did a great deal of work
in Paris upon watch-cases; the two men married two sisters, Madeleine
and Margaret Cuper, in 1651. Pierre Bordier stopped in this country and
executed an elaborate watch-cover, designed as a memorial of the Battle
of Naseby, presented to General Fairfax, and described in the catalogue
of the sale of Strawberry Hill, where it was sold. It was, doubtless,
the troubles of the Civil War which drove the great enameller back
to France, where he was well received by Louis XIV., and commissions
flowed in upon him until the close of his life; indeed, he is said to
have retired to Vevey to escape the importunity of his patrons; and
there he died, at an advanced age, in the year 1691.

[Illustration: SIR A. MORE.


(_Duke of Norfolk._)]

[Illustration: JOHN BETTES.


(_National Gallery._)]

The art of which this incomparable miniaturist was such a great
exponent was peculiarly adapted to a form of patronage much in vogue
at that time; that is to say, it was employed in the adornment of
costly and exquisite snuff-boxes. These _boites aux portraits_, as
they were called, were extensively used for diplomatic purposes,
and portraits of the Grand Monarque were ordered by the dozen at a
time. The presentation of boxes of such a character with a portrait
on, or inside, the lid, with or without a setting of brilliants, as
the rank and importance, or otherwise, of the fortunate recipient
required, were part of the ceremonial usage and Court etiquette of
the day. The Collection left to South Kensington by Mr. Gardiner,
the extremely choice examples in the Wallace Collection, and the
still larger collection left by the Lenoirs to the Louvre, show the
extravagant pitch to which work of this kind was carried, the diamond
settings alone often running to a cost of many thousands of francs. For
example, a portrait of Louis XVI., when Dauphin, was presented to Marie
Antoinette. The portrait was painted by the most eminent miniature
painter of his day, namely Pierre Adolphe Hall; the artist received
2,684 francs, and the cost of the box and brilliants was over 75,000

Petitot may be studied to full advantage at the Jones Collection, even
better than at the Louvre, whilst at Hertford House there are only a
couple of examples attributed to him. In private collections there
are some notable works which passed from Strawberry Hill into the
possession of the late Baroness Burdett Coutts; and the Earl of Dartrey
also owns a number. The portrait, shown in this book, of Petitot le
Vieux, is from this nobleman's collection, which, by the way, is also
rich in examples by the brothers Hurter. These two enamellers came
from Schaffhausen, being introduced to the British aristocracy by the
Lord Dartrey of that day. Some thirty examples of their work were
shown at the Loan Exhibition at South Kensington in 1865 by the then
Lord Cremorne. At Althorp is a portrait of the beautiful Duchess of
Devonshire by John Henry Hurter; and Lord Dartrey has a portrait of
Queen Charlotte painted by J. F. C. Hurter.

[Illustration: HENRY BRANDON.

(_H.M. the King._)]



(_From a drawing at Basle._)]

[Illustration: CHARLES BRANDON.

(_H.M. the King._)]

We now pass on to consider the art of painting portraits in enamel as
practised in this country. The first name of any importance in this
connection is that of Charles Boit, a native of Stockholm, but of
French extraction. He was born in 1663, and when he was about twenty
came to this country and worked as a jeweller. Being unable to succeed
in that occupation, he turned drawing-master, and Walpole tells us of
an intrigue which led to his being thrown into prison for two years,
time which he is said to have turned to advantage by practising enamel
painting, though how that could have been done under such circumstances
I do not know. Ultimately he became celebrated for his work, and
obtained high prices for it He attempted pieces on a large scale, the
difficulties of which are enormously enhanced by their size, as is well
known to craftsmen. One was intended for Queen Anne, and the artist is
said to have received a thousand pounds advance on it, but before he
succeeded in firing it some £700 or £800 were spent, which led him into
such difficulties that he escaped to France, where he died, about 1726.

There is a large, though not particularly attractive, example of Boit's
to be seen in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford; but specimens of his art
are not very common, and are not nearly so often met with as those by
C. F. Zincke, whose spick-and-span style and bright blue draperies are
well known; Oxford is rich in them.

This Dresden miniature painter, whose features are familiar to print
collectors from the mezzotint of him and his wife by Faber, came to
England in 1706 and obtained the patronage of George II., although
that uninteresting monarch hated "boetry and bainting." Zincke's work
is, indeed, typically early Georgian, and repeats the insipidities
of Kneller on a small scale, with a persistent consistency which is
monotonous in the extreme. Horace Walpole had a high opinion of his
work; he declared that it surpassed that of Boit and rivalled Petitot,
an opinion which few who know the merits of Petitot's exquisite art are
likely to endorse.

Failure of eyesight led Zincke to retire in 1746; but he lived some
twenty years longer. During the forty years that he practised his art
he must have executed an enormous number of portraits, for he was the
fashionable artist of his day, and so great was the patronage bestowed
upon him that he raised his prices to limit the number of his patrons.

A pupil of Zincke's was William Prewitt, who is not, I think, very well
known. There is an example by him to be seen in the Victoria and Albert
Museum, a body-colour drawing. The Duke of Buccleuch has a portrait of
Horace Walpole when young, also painted by Prewitt.

Another miniaturist who was especially an enameller was Charles Muss,
said by some to be an Italian, and by others to have been born at
Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1779. He was enamel painter to George III. and
George IV.; and devoted himself especially to copying old masters.
Examples of his work in this direction will be found in the Plumley
Collection in the Victoria and Albert Museum.



(_H.M. the King._)]

[Illustration: LADY AUDLEY.

(_H.M. the King._)]

A much better-known enameller is Nathaniel Hone, an Irishman of a
self-assertive, not to say aggressive, personality, if one may judge
by the tone of his remarks when he quarrelled with the Academy, of
which he was a full member, over his picture called "The Conjurer."
This indifferent painting excited an amount of attention of which
it was quite undeserving from the tongue of scandal, which asserted
that Sir Joshua Reynolds and Angelica Kauffmann were satirised in
the composition, and that one of the naked figures dancing in the
background was intended for the fair Academician.

Hone essayed the various branches of art with varying success. There
is a characteristic portrait of himself in the Diploma collection of
the Royal Academy. He, too, had a share of Royal patronage, and painted
many of the notabilities of his day, including the lovely Misses
Gunning. He had a son, Horace Hone, who was made an Associate of the
Academy, and who also practised as a miniature painter. His work is
considered inferior to that of his father.

John Plott, another miniaturist, was also a pupil of the elder Hone,
and was born at Winchester, where he studied law. Forsaking that
pursuit, he came to London, and was at first a pupil of Richard Wilson

Two other Academicians associated with this period, and both enamellers
of exceptional ability, are George Michael Moser and Jeremiah Meyer.
Moser was the son of a sculptor, and was born at St. Galle, in 1704.
Upon his arrival in this country he found employment with the Royal
Family, and, being a fine medallist, was commissioned to design the
King's Great Seal. No doubt he had social gifts, and he certainly
enjoyed the respect and friendship of Sir Joshua Reynolds. He was one
of the most active founders of the Royal Academy, and was made its
first Keeper.

His only child, Mary Moser, was a flower painter of great reputation
in her day. She married a Captain Lloyd, but is reported to have
gone about the country in the company of Richard Cosway, who at the
beginning of the century was separated from his wife, Maria. This Mary
Moser, by the way, was a lady Royal Academician, like the fair Angelica

Jeremiah Meyer, the other enameller whom I have mentioned, was also
a foundation member of the Royal Academy; he was, moreover, a very
fine miniature painter. Great refinement of colour, excellent drawing,
perfect finish, and, what is perhaps more rare in miniature work,
truth to life, distinguish his miniatures. He came to London when he
was fourteen, and was a pupil of Zincke for two years. Fifteen years
later, when only twenty-nine, he was made enameller to George III. He
was a constant exhibitor at the Academy, where he showed some twenty
pieces. He was born at Tubingen, in 1735, and died in 1789, some three
years before Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose work is said greatly to have
influenced his style.

The palette of the enamel painter is a very rich one, but not all
the colours to be found amongst the metallic oxides fuse at the same
temperature. Hence the artist must be able to judge most accurately
the length of time that each will stand the heat without melting too
much and running one into the other. Such acquaintance can only be
acquired by pains-taking practice, and it is obvious how greatly the
difficulties of portraiture are enhanced under such conditions. It
is usual to place these opaque colours upon the enamel ground, on a
gold or copper plate, applying the hardest vitrifiable colour first,
then the less hard, and so on. It is perhaps not surprising that so
delicate a process, liable to be attended by failure at every step, has
fallen out of fashion in these days, and as a matter of fact it is now
scarcely attempted in this country at all--that is to say, in the way
of portraiture.

Formerly, however, it was carried on here with more or less success,
and one interesting practice of the art may be named before we leave
this part of our subject. I refer to what are known as the Battersea
enamels. In the middle of the eighteenth century, under the management
of S. J. Jansen, many articles, such as candlesticks, patch-boxes and
snuff-boxes, and such like, were produced. These are fairly well drawn
and coloured, and consist largely of flowers, birds and fruit, and so
forth, generally on a white ground. But beside all these there are a
number of contemporary portraits, produced by means of transfers from
copper plates. Amongst these are the beautiful Misses Gunning, the
Royal Family of the day, Gibbon, and many others. Some may be seen
in the Franks Collection at the British Museum, and a more important
collection is at the Victoria and Albert, brought together by the late
Lady Charlotte Schreiber.

To a somewhat later period than that we have been discussing belongs
Henry Bone, R.A., who, like so many other artists, came from the West
of England, having been born at Truro, in 1755. The circumstances
of his early life doubtless somewhat affected the direction which
his artistic efforts took, he having been apprenticed in a china
manufactory at Plymouth. He removed with it to Bristol in 1778, and,
coming to London, was employed in painting devices in enamel on
trinkets. He first attracted attention in London by an enamel of the
"Sleeping Girl," after Sir Joshua Reynolds, which was exhibited at the
Royal Academy in 1780. This led to his being appointed enamel painter
to Royalty, and George, Prince of Wales, extended his patronage to him.
Academical honours followed; he was made an Associate in 1801, and full
member ten years later.

Bone stands out as the enameller _par excellence_ of the English
school; and he was astonishingly successful in many large and ambitious
pieces. For example, he was paid two thousand guineas for a plaque
measuring 18 by 15 inches, a copy of Titian's "Bacchus and Ariadne,"
in the National Gallery. He devoted himself especially to copying the
works of the great masters, such as Raphael, Titian, and Murillo. He
also executed a series of 85 copies of portraits of the statesmen and
others who lived in "the spacious days of great Elizabeth." But whilst
a large measure of success may be ungrudgingly accorded him in respect
of these works, the flesh tones in his painting often leave something
to be desired; there is a suggestion of painting on porcelain, and of
the smoothness and want of vitality that characterise that kind of
work, and are so fatal to its artistic completeness. It would be a
little curious to trace this tendency to what may be termed ceramic
smoothness to the early training of Bone as a china-painter. At any
rate, it may be recognised as characteristic of his style.

His son, Henry Pierce Bone, followed his father's footsteps in painting
a great number of copies from the old masters. The elder Bone died in
1834, the younger lived some twenty years longer. Besides these two,
there was a P. J. Bone, who exhibited an enamel at the Royal Academy in
1801; and there were also two other Bones, whose names appear in the
catalogues, namely, W. Bone and C. R. Bone. They were the grandsons
of Henry, and exhibited up to 1851, the latter alone contributing 67
miniatures to the Academy.



[Illustration: HENRY VIII.

(_H.M. the King._)]


(_H.M. the King._)]

The last enamellers that I would mention are the Essexes, William and
William B. The former was born in 1784, and died at Brighton, in 1869.
In his long life he exhibited a large number of works at the Royal
Academy, mostly portraits, H.M. the late Queen Victoria giving him much
employment, and appointing him her enamel painter in 1839. Although
most of his works exhibited at the Academy from 1818 until within five
years of his death were portraits, or copies of paintings by the old
masters, animal painting was really his forte, as may be seen by an
examination of his work at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

His son, W. B. Essex, died in Birmingham, in 1852, at the early age of
twenty-nine, having contributed to the Academy from 1845 to 1851 some
ten or twelve portraits.

In concluding these remarks upon enamel painting, one cannot help
feeling a certain regret that the art, as applied to portraiture, I
mean, should have fallen into such desuetude in these days. When one
considers the beautiful effects which have been produced in it by the
hands of masters, and especially the valuable quality of permanence
which such works possess (for an enamel by Petitot is as brilliant
to-day as it was when it was fired), one must wish that artists
would devote themselves to so satisfactory a record of contemporary
portraiture. Miniature painting upon ivory, charming as it is in its
delicate effects, is, as we all know, subject to the great defect of
being fleeting in its nature, when exposed to light. Not only has the
charm and beauty of many a miniature by Cosway vanished utterly, but
a green and ghastly caricature is left in its place, a travesty and a
libel upon the original.

The amount of time and patience requisite to produce an enamel is, no
doubt, the secret of the neglect into which it has fallen in these
days. The tendency to haste and to hurry, with its concomitant,
cheapness of production, is, we are told, ruining the art of such
conservative craftsmen as those of China, of Japan, and of India; and
if these Western tendencies have made their influence felt in the Far
East, it is not to be wondered at that in England of to-day a portrait
in enamels is a thing which demands too much labour and time to be in
the vogue. True it is that it was never extensively practised here; but
now it may be said, as far as regards portraiture, to be practically





Horace Walpole has asserted that this country has very rarely given
birth to a genius in painting. "Flanders and Holland," says he, "have
sent us the greatest men that we can boast." The following list of
portrait painters who are reputed to have practised in England during
the Tudor and Stuart periods contains, it will be seen at once, a very
large proportion of foreign names:--

  John Bettes                   --  1570

  Thomas Bettes                 --   --    Surmised to be the son or
                                           brother of John Bettes.

  Pierre Bordier (E)            --   --    _temp._ Charles I.

  Jacques Bordier (E)          1616-1684

  Alexander Brown               --   --    _temp._ Charles II.

  Samuel Butler                1612-1680

  Joost Van Cleef              1500-1536

  Francis Cleyn                1625-1650

  John Cleyn                    --   --

  Penelope Cleyn                --   --     _temp._ Charles II.

  Samuel Cooper                1609-1672

  Alexander Cooper              --   --     _flo._ 1650-1660.

  David de Grange               --   --

  Lucas de Heere               1534-1584

  Nathaniel Dixon[1]            --   --

  William Faithorne                  1616-1691

  Thomas Flatman                     1633-1688

  Sir Balthazar Gerbier              1591-1667

  Richard Gibson                     1615-1690

  Edward Gibson                       --   --

  William Gibson                     1644-1702

  John Greenhill                     1649-1676

  John Hayles                         --  1679   Contemporary of Cooper.

  Nicholas Hilliard                  1547-1619

  Lawrence Hilliard                   --   --    Son of Nicholas Hilliard.

  Gerard Lucas Hornebonde            1498-1554

  Susannah Hornebonde           _cir._ 1503  --

  John Hoskins                        --  1664

  John Hoskins, junr. (?)             --   --    _flo._ 1686 (?)

  Hans Holbein the younger           1495-1543

  George Jamesone                    1586-1644

  François Clouet or Janet      _cir._ 1510-1571-4

  Cornelius Janssen                  1590-1665

  David Loggan                       1630-1693

  Sir Antonio More                   1525-1581

  Gaspar Netscher                    1639-1684

  Isaac Oliver                       1556-1617

  Peter Oliver                       1601-1647

  Sir Robert Peake                   1592-1667

  Luca Penni                    _cir._ 1500  --

  Jean Petitot                       1607-1691

  Jean Petitot, fils                 1650  --

  Cornelius Polemberg                1586-1660

  Theodore Russell                   1614  --

  John Shute or Shoote                --  1563

  Matthew Snelling                    --   --    _flo._ 1647.

  Gwillim Streetes                    --   --    _flo. temp._ Edward VI.

  Levina Teerlinck                    --   --    Contemporary of Holbein.

  Girolamo da Trevigi                1497-1544

  Herbert Tuer                        --  1680   (?)

  Sir A. Van Dyck                    1599-1641

  Frederigo Zucchero                 1543-1609

[Footnote 1: So called in the Royal Acad. Winter Exhibition Catalogues.]

As this book makes no claim to be regarded as a biographical
dictionary, and as I have given such particulars as I have been able
to ascertain about the whole of the above named in my larger works,
I do not propose to deal with those mentioned in this list _seriatim_,
but I shall devote chapters to the most important of them, such men as
Samuel Cooper, Hilliard, Hoskins, Holbein, the Olivers, and Petitot.

[Illustration: N. HILLIARD.


(_From Penshurst._)]

[Illustration: LADY MARY SIDNEY.

(_Harcourt family._)]

As to many of the others, I give their names for the sake of being
comprehensive but with reservations. Take, for example, Lucas de Heere.
It may be allowed that he worked in England, and there is a very good
oil painting by him in the Palace of Holyrood House, of a lady of the
Tudor period, miscalled Mary, Queen of Scots. But I should not like to
undertake to produce any evidence that he painted miniatures, in spite
of the fact of one of Sir John B. Hatton and his mother being shown at
Kensington in 1865, and attributed to him.

This work belongs to Earl Spencer. It is dated 1525, and signed "L."
Now, the date assigned to the birth of the artist is 1534. In other
words, this group, which comes from a great and justly celebrated
collection, namely, Althorp, and was shown under such auspices at that
great exhibition of miniatures to which I have so often referred--I
say, in spite of all this, a picture is actually catalogued as being
by an artist who did not come into existence till nine years after the
date which the panel actually bears.

The connection of many of the others with miniature painting is
decidedly slight, yet, as need hardly be said, there are contemporary
references to them which entitle them to a mention in this list. Thus
Lanzi has recorded that Lucca Penni and Giralamo Da Trevigi were
employed here. Then there was a lady miniature painter, a daughter
of Master Simon Bennink of Bruges, who was employed by the Court of
England. Thus we know that in 1547 "Maistris Levyn Teerling, Paintrix,"
was paid quarterly £11, and we read of her presenting Queen Mary with
a small miniature of the Trinity as a New Year's gift. Again in 1558
she presents her Majesty Elizabeth with the "Queen's picture finely
painted on a card," and received in return "one casting bottell guilt,"
weighing two and three-quarter ounces. And in 1561 she presents "the
Queen's personne and other personages in a box, finely painted." "One
guilt salt with a cover," weighing five and a quarter ounces, was the
return made for this.

Then there was the Horneband, Hornebonde, or Hornebolt family, of
whom some interesting particulars will be found in "Archæologia,"
contributed by Mr. Nichols.

The best known of these appears to be Susannah, whose father was in the
service of King Henry VIII. at a monthly pay of 33s. 4d. Her brother
Lucas, was even better paid, namely 55s. 6d. per month, a sum which was
more, it is interesting to note, than Hans Holbein received.

In April, 1554, the household books of Henry show that the painter was
duly paid his salary. In the following month there occurs this entry,
"Item for Lewke Hornebonde, Paynter, Wages nil, Quia Mortuus."

Albert Dürer has told us of his meeting members of this family at
Antwerp in 1521. He was impressed with the ability of Susannah, who
was then about eighteen years old, and he records how he gave her a
florin, for she had made a coloured drawing of our Saviour, of which he
says, "It is wonderful that a female should be able to do such a work."

[Illustration: N. HILLIARD.


(_H.M. the King._)]

[Illustration: ISAAC OLIVER.


(_Duke of Rutland._)]

[Illustration: SPENSER.

(_Lord Fitzhardinge._)]

_Apropos_ of Antwerp, Joost Van Cleef may be mentioned. He is described
as an industrious painter noted for the beautiful rendering of his
hands, and according to Van Mander was the best colourist of his time.
He came to this country with an introduction from his countryman Sir
Antonio More, and Charles I. purchased two or three of his pictures.
He was expecting to get great prices for his work, but it seems some
canvases by Titian arrived in England at the same time as he did.
According to Walpole this threw the Antwerp painter into a jealous

He abused More (who was here at the time painting a portrait of Queen
Mary by command of Philip) with whom he afterwards returned to Spain,
telling him (More) to go back to Utrecht, and keep his wife from the
Canons. The unfortunate Van Cleef is said to have painted his own
clothes and spoilt his own pictures, and he behaved in such a way that
it was necessary to confine him.

There is a portrait of Henry VIII. at Hampton Court ascribed by some
to this painter, and the mention of this monarch reminds me of John
and Thomas Betts, brothers as is supposed, the former of whom painted
Edmund Butts, son of the King's physician. This portrait, in the black
cap and furred gown of the period, is to be seen in the National
Gallery, and came from the collection of the late George Richmond, R.A.
It is a vigorous, soundly painted work, recalling Holbein in manner,
as may be seen, I think, by the illustration shown on p. 77,
though markedly inferior in subtlety of rendering of character
to that great master.

It has been customary to term John Betts a pupil of Nicholas Hilliard,
but this portrait is conclusive evidence on that point, for it is dated
in the clearest manner 1545. Now, as Hilliard was not born till two
years later, it is sufficiently obvious that John Betts could not have
been his pupil.

In the case of these early English artists, John being supposed to have
died in 1570, any information which can be given is of interest. Apart
from particulars which may be gleaned from biographical dictionaries,
it is worth mentioning that at the Winter Exhibition of the Royal
Academy in 1879 the Duke of Buccleuch exhibited a miniature of
Catherine de Balzac, Duchess of Lennox (wife of Esmé Stuart, created
Duke of Lennox by James VI.), and another of Queen Elizabeth, both
ascribed to John Betts. At the same exhibition there was a miniature
of Thomas Egerton, Lord Ellesmere (Lord Chancellor, 1603), also lent
by the Duke of Buccleuch, and Dr. Propert had a miniature of J. Digby,
Earl of Bristol, which he ascribed to Thomas Betts.

Thomas and John Betts are mentioned in Mere's "Wit's Commonwealth,"
published in London, 1598, together with other artists whose names are
hardly known and whose works are absolutely unknown. The painters in
question were mentioned in the introduction to the catalogue of the
Kensington Loan Collection of 1865, but not a single example of
their work was forthcoming. Confusion reigns as to their date, and
beyond the fact that Vertue mentions a miniature by John Betts of Sir
John Godsalve, who was controller of the Mint to Edward VI., and that
in Hall's _Chronicle_ of the year 1576 (for which he engraved some
vignettes) he is termed a designer, and said to have been a pupil of
Hilliard's, but little is recorded of him.


    _Ad vivum lætos qui pingis imagine vultus,
        OLIVERE oculos mirifice bi capiunt
    Corpora quæ formas jus to hæc expressa Colore.
        Multum est, cum rebus convenit ipse color._

(_From a print in the British Museum._)]

With the exception of Holbein, and perhaps Petitot, the most important
name in connection with our subject, in the list of foreigners which I
have given at the commencement of this chapter, is François Clouet or
Janet. I shall devote a separate chapter to the latter.

Not least amongst the treasures of the unique collection of miniatures
in the Royal Library in Windsor Castle is a small one of Mary Queen
of Scots. As I have described this fully in my remarks upon the
Royal collection, I shall only now say that it was catalogued for
King Charles I. as "supposed to be done by Jennet, a French limner."
This name, which is spelt nowadays Janet, is that of a family whose
interesting history is given in some detail in Mrs. Mark Pattison's
"History of the Renaissance." It is not a little difficult to
distinguish between the various members of this family, the Clouets,
as they were also called; and we need not stop to deal with the story
now, as I have referred to the subject in my remarks on French art (see
Chapter XIV.), but there is no doubt that François was Court painter
in the reigns of Henry II. and III., of Francis II. and Charles IX. of
France, and that his work belongs to the period with which we are now
dealing. Judged by the standard of his own day, this artist attained a
high level of excellence, but if we are to judge of the merits of his
work rightly, we must discriminate between his finished pictures and
his studies for portraits. Now, these latter, some of which were hardly
more than memoranda in black and red chalk, were very fashionable
in Janet's day, and there is no doubt immense numbers of them were
produced. Great personages of the day owned portfolios of them, which
in a sense were the precursors of the photographic albums of our own

Of Janet's work I can only mention a few examples here. Amongst them
is, at Chantilly, a notable one of Mary Queen of Scots, as she was when
nine years old, giving, it must be owned, but slender promise of the
physical beauty which afterwards she was allowed to possess by foes and
friends alike.

Equally interesting, of greater technical merit, and indeed of supreme
importance in their way, are the three superb portraits in the
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, of Mary Queen of Scots as Dauphine,
of her first husband, Francis II., and of herself in the white Court
mourning or _deuil blanc_ which she wore as widow of the last named.[2]
Did only these three works exist, they would be quite sufficient to
stamp Janet as an admirable artist, perhaps second only to Holbein in
his way and in his time: I say second, because nothing of Janet's,
so far as I know, has ever reached the high level, the searching
execution, the power of draughtsmanship, and the masterly style of Hans
Holbein. It is with that great artist, who may be considered as the
founder of miniature painting in this country, that we have now to deal.

[Footnote 2: These illustrations in facsimile, and the size of the
originals, will be found figured in the author's work, "Concerning the
True Portraiture of Mary Stuart."]

[Illustration: VENETIA, LADY DIGBY.

(_Burdett-Coutts Collection._)]

[Illustration: I. OLIVER.


(_H.M. the King._)]


Every tyro in art knows, it may be said, the eminence of Hans Holbein
the Younger as a painter, and especially as a portrait painter. He had
other gifts as well, to which we shall refer by and by, but perhaps all
my readers may not be aware that Holbein must be regarded as the actual
founder of the art of miniature painting in England.

As Hans Holbein came to London in 1526 it will be seen that the art of
limning has, in this country, a genealogy, so to speak, of nearly four
hundred years. And during all that long period, and amidst the great
number of artists who worked therein, there is no greater name to be
found than that of the Augsburg painter. It is to Erasmus that he owed
his introduction to this country, which he visited for the first time
when he was about thirty-two years of age. The painter's acquaintance
with Erasmus was made at Basle, where, by the way, in the Salle des
Dessins, one of the best portraits of Holbein is to be found--a
drawing in body colour on vellum, beautifully finished, which I here
reproduce. Sir Thomas More was a friend of Erasmus, and it was to the
house of this distinguished man that Holbein went on his arrival. There
he remained some time, painting portraits of eminent men with whom
he must have come in contact at Chelsea, amongst others--Archbishop
Warham, Sir Henry Guildford, Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Sir Thomas
More himself, and two generations of the More family.

After a while he returned to Switzerland, and when he revisited this
country in 1531 his friend had become Lord Chancellor. We need not
attempt to follow his career here in detail; there is no doubt that
he soon was taken into the service of Henry VIII., and, becoming a
favourite of that monarch, was attached to the Royal household, and
appears to have had apartments in the palace at Whitehall. In 1538 he
is spoken of as "a sarvand of the Kynges Majesties named Mr. Haunce."
At this time his salary was £30 per annum, as to which the relative
value of money, then and now, must not be forgotten. In this year he
was at Brussels with Sir Philip Hobby, having a commission to paint the
portrait of the young widowed Duchess of Milan. It is a magnificent
full-length portrait, one of his finest works, and may be seen in the
National Gallery to-day, having been lent by the Duke of Norfolk. This
demure-looking lady may be credited with having a pretty wit of her
own, if the story told of her reception of an offer of marriage by
Henry VIII. be true; the answer she made to these overtures was that
she must beg to be excused as she was possessed of but one neck.

The collection of pictures and drawings for pictures attributed to
Holbein, and now preserved at Windsor, is well known and justly
celebrated. But it is with the miniatures which are supposed to
be his work that we have most to do in this book. It is somewhat
remarkable that so great an authority as the late Mr. Ralph Wornum must
be allowed to be should dispute the fact of Holbein having ever painted
any miniatures at all. In his "Life and Works of Holbein" he distinctly
asserts that there is not a single miniature in existence which can be
positively assigned to Holbein.





(_Burdett-Coutts Collection._)]

The learned late Keeper of the National Gallery would probably not have
disputed that Holbein did paint miniatures, in the face of Van Mander's
explicit statement that "he [Holbein] worked equally well in oil and
in water-colours; he painted also miniatures of a special excellence,
which last art he learned from one Master Lucas, then in London, whom,
however, he soon surpassed." Then we have the testimony of Sandrart,
who says: "Holbein began practising the art when in the King's service,
having been incited thereto by the excellence of the works of Master
Lucas." There is no question, either, that Van der Doort regarded
Holbein as a limner; in his catalogue of King Charles I.'s collection
he speaks of two miniatures of Henry VIII. which he ascribes to
Holbein. But Mr. Wornum says of these that it is next to impossible
to identify them now. Then there is the express statement of Nicholas
Hilliard, who declares himself as the pupil of Holbein in the art of

Finally, in the Bodleian Library is a manuscript by Edward Morgate,
dedicated to Henry Frederick, Earl of Arundel, dated July 8, 1654,
entitled "Miniatura, or the Art of Limning," in which it is stated
that "the incomparable Holbein, in all his different and various
methods of painting, either in oyle, distemper, _lymning_, or crayon,
was, it seems, so general an artist as never to imitate any man, nor
ever was worthily imitated by any."

But whilst it seems impossible to dispute that Holbein certainly did
paint miniatures, the claims of individual specimens to be considered
as his handiwork are, of course, open to question, since none of his
works of this nature are known to be signed. It may, therefore, be
worth while to state what little evidence can be gleaned about some
of the best known pieces which are attributed to Holbein. There are
at least six in the King's collection at Windsor; of these two are
of Henry VIII.; they were given to Charles I. by Theophilus Howard,
second Earl of Suffolk, who died in 1640. I have described them at some
length in subsequent remarks on the Royal Collection. A third example
is that of Lady Audley. Here, again, we have not direct testimony, but
apart from the technicalities of the execution and so forth, we have
the fact that she was the daughter of Sir Brian Tuke, Treasurer of the
Chamber to Henry VIII., and that a portrait of her in red chalk is
among the drawings by Holbein at Windsor, the authenticity of which is,
I believe, unquestioned. The fourth to be mentioned in this connection
is the portrait of Queen Catherine Howard, a replica of which exists
in the Duke of Buccleuch's collection. Lastly, I may mention two
very interesting portraits of the sons of Charles Brandon, Duke of
Suffolk. They were entered in Van der Doort's catalogue as being
"done by Hans Holbein. Given to the King by Sir H. Vane."

[Illustration: ISAAC OLIVER.


[Illustration: AFTER SIR A. VAN DYCK.


[Illustration: PETER OLIVER.


(_Capt. J. H. Edwards, Heathcote._)]

These I have also described in Chapter XII., under "The Royal
Collection," for opportunities of examining which I may express my
obligation to the courtesy of the late librarian, Sir Richard Holmes.
The picture of a burgomaster (given on p. 85), is one which has been
assigned to Holbein, and it is also at Windsor.

Another of Henry's wives, whose portrait is ascribed to Holbein, and
was, we have reason to believe, in the Royal Collection at one time,
is Katherine of Arragon. Walpole says of this portrait: "It was given
to the Duke of Monmouth by Charles II. I bought it at the sale of Lady
Isabella Scott, daughter of the Duchess of Monmouth." When the famous
Colworth Collection was dispersed, a piece, purporting to be this
particular miniature, painted on vellum, was sold. It is reproduced on
p. 91. Its then owner, Mr. Magniac, sent it to the South Kensington
Exhibition of 1865, believing it, no doubt, to be as described in the
catalogue. But had he referred to the "Anecdotes of Painting" he would
have found that Walpole's description of it could not apply to this
particular work, seeing that it was _on a round_, and on a blue ground.
In the Strawberry Hill sale catalogue it is described as a "very fine
specimen of the master," and was purchased by W. Blamire, Esq., for the
sum of £50 8s.

A curious picture of a natural son of Henry VIII., by Lady Elizabeth
Talboys, was ascribed to Holbein in the Strawberry Hill Collection.
It was sold to the Duke of Buckingham for seven and a half guineas,
and bears the following inscription: "Henry Duck off Richmond, ætatis
sue XV^o." It is painted on an ace of hearts, and was formerly in the
collection of Mr. Sackville Bale, who enjoyed the reputation of being a
connoisseur of good judgment. This young man, it may be mentioned, who
appears to be painted in his nightdress and a most unbecoming nightcap,
did not live to be eighteen years of age.

There is an interesting portrait of Holbein himself to be seen at
Hertford House. As Mr. Claude Phillips, the keeper of the Wallace
Collection, accepts this as Holbein's work, I shall not stop to discuss
its authenticity, but I may remark that there is a duplicate of this
particular subject at Montagu House. The Wallace example is in oils on
card, whilst the Duke of Buccleuch's piece is in gouache, I believe,
on card. The view of the face, the position of the hands, and all the
details, except the length of the hair, appear identical. As to the
hair, it is certainly longer in the Wallace Collection portrait. This
latter piece may be thus described. Head and bust of a middle-aged man,
wearing black dress and cap, with a lace open collar, holding a pencil
in his right hand and looking at spectator, with whiskers and a short
beard, dark in colour and rather sparse. Blue background, circular,
about one and a half inches in diameter. It is inscribed "1543. Ætatis
suæ 45."



[Illustration: JOHN HOSKINS.


(_H.M. the King._)]

[Illustration: ISAAC OLIVER.


(_H.M. the King._)]



As with other branches of art, so with miniature painting, we cannot
show any native-born artists of eminence until we arrive at the
middle of the sixteenth century, when the series of English miniature
painters, properly so called, may be said to begin with Nicholas
Hilliard, for we may disregard the one or two others whose names occur
only in stray references.

Nicholas Hilliard, born at Exeter, it is said, in 1547, is the first
English professed miniature portrait painter whose history can be
given. His father was Richard Hilliard, High Sheriff of his county in
the year 1560. His mother was a daughter of John Wall, goldsmith, of
London, a circumstance which there can be little doubt had much to do
with Nicholas Hilliard being brought up to the business of jeweller and
goldsmith, occupations closely connected with limning in those days.

Assuming the date usually given for his birth to be correct, as to
which I shall have something to say farther on, he engraved the Great
Seal when he was forty years of age. This means that his reputation
was already made--and indeed he had been appointed goldsmith, carver,
and portrait painter to Queen Elizabeth, "to make pictures of her body
and person in small compass in limning only." According to Pilkington,
he owed his introduction to the Virgin Queen to the interest of Sir
Walter Raleigh, but I have not met with any corroboration of this
statement. It is also commonly said that Hilliard was enjoined to
paint her Majesty without shadows. From what we know of the vanity of
Elizabeth this is not improbable, though it is, to my mind, by no means
certain; and there is another reason for the flatness of treatment
which is undoubtedly characteristic of his work, which I shall deal
with in considering his method of painting.

James I. granted him a patent to this effect: "Whereas our well-beloved
servant, Nicholas Hilliard, gentleman, our principal drawer of small
portraits, and embosser of our medals in gold, in respect of his
extraordinary skill in drawing, graving, and imprinting, &c., we have
granted unto him our special licence for twelve years, to invent, make,
grave and imprint any pictures of our image, of our Royal Family, with
power to take a constable and search for any pictures, plates, or
works, printed, sold, or set up."

There is not much to be said about the career of Hilliard, and this
work is not greatly concerned with biographical details. It must,
however, be observed that Hilliard had an only son, Lawrence, who
followed his father's profession, and enjoyed the patent granted by
King James, until its expiration.



(_Duke of Devonshire._)


(_Duke of Sutherland._)]

There is a warrant of the Council, dated 1624, extant, ordering the
payment of £42 to Lawrence Hilliard for five pictures "by him drawn."
Probably this privilege was a source of emolument to the Hilliard
family (by the way, Lawrence had several children), and gave them
control over the engravers and print-sellers of the period to whom
licences were granted. Simon de Passe was employed by them in engraving
small plates of the heads of the Royal Family.

Nicholas Hilliard died on the 6th of January, 1619, and was buried in
St. Martin's in the Fields. He left to his sister, Ann Avery, £20 out
of the £30 due to him as his pension. This, it will be remembered, is
the same amount as Holbein's salary.

Works by Nicholas Hilliard are by no means rare. We have just seen
that he lived to over seventy years of age, and was probably pretty
fully employed during the greater part of his career, as is shown
by portraits of James I. and his consort, Anne of Denmark, of which
several exist.

Fourteen examples of his work were shown at the Winter Exhibition of
the Royal Academy in 1879, of which four came from the Royal Library at
Windsor. A still larger collection was exhibited at the Loan Collection
at Kensington in 1865, and I have, at one time or another, examined a
great many examples personally. It may be said of all these that they
are characterised by uniformity of style, treatment, and quality.

We have Hilliard's own statement as to his artistic training:
"Holbein's manner of limning I have ever imitated," he says, "and
hold it for the best." Horace Walpole has remarked concerning this
"manner of limning": "Although he copied the neatness of his model
(Holbein), he was far from attaining that nature and force which
that great master impressed on his most minute works. Hilliard," he
continues, "arrived at no strength of colouring; his faces are pale
and void of any variety of tints, the features, jewels, and ornaments
expressed by lines as slender as a hair. The exact dress of the times
he curiously delineated, but he seldom attempted beyond the head, yet
his performances were greatly valued."

The paleness of the faces in Hilliard's work, as it exists to-day, is
true enough, and would seem to justify the criticism of the owner of
Strawberry Hill, and his statement that the painter "arrived at no
strength of colouring," but before we accept the conclusion that his
portraits always possessed the bloodless appearance they now present,
we may ask whether it is by any means certain that they were originally
marked by this defect.

It must be remembered that they were painted more than three hundred
years ago, which is ample time for the flesh tints to have faded right
out. We know how the carnations have flown in numberless examples of
comparatively recent work, the ghastly paleness of which robs them of
all beauty. The more perfect condition of the jewels and ornaments,
with which the figures in Hilliard's pictures are so profusely
adorned, is not conclusive, owing to the opaque nature of the colours
and the quantity of gold he was wont to use. He commonly painted on
card or vellum, and employed, it is said, a brush composed of hairs
from a squirrel's tail. His works are generally signed "N. H.," and
frequently have a motto and date written round the edge in Latin and

[Illustration: S. COOPER.


(_H.M. the King._)]

What is known as "quality" in works of art is a very elusive factor in
their charm, and it is proportionately difficult to express in words.
Indeed, I might go farther, and say that a large proportion of people
who look upon works of art never realise what it means. Hence it is
always difficult to assign with absolute fairness and accuracy the rank
of a given artist.

There are many things to be taken into consideration, but I think
it may be safely said of Hilliard that he stands well in the front
of the second row of our native miniature painters. He is certainly
inferior in finish and beauty to the Olivers, and his heads are even
more deficient in the wonderful rendering of character and the masterly
execution of Samuel Cooper, but his faces are well drawn, and are
differentiated--far more so, for instance, than are the insipidities of
Kneller and Lely and the early Georgian artists.

We know that he won the admiration of his contemporaries, both
strangers and fellow-countrymen. In Heydock's translation of "Lomazzo
on Painting," published in 1598, we are told that "limning was much
used in former times in church books, as also in drawing by life
in small models of late years by some of our countrymen, as Shoote,
Betts, &c.; but brought to the rare perfection we now see by the most
ingenious, painful, and skilful master, Nicholas Hilliard."

The ornate jewellery which he appears to have painted with such care
was, of course, the fashion of the time, as were the elaborate ruffs,
both of which are well shown in the accompanying portrait of Lady Mary
Sidney, Countess of Pembroke--an extremely interesting miniature, by
the way, which came from Penshurst. This lady was the daughter of Sir
Henry Sidney, and married Henry, second Earl of Pembroke. It was to her
that Sir Philip Sidney dedicated his "Arcadia." She died in her House
at Aldersgate Street, and was buried in Salisbury Cathedral. She was
the subject of the well-known epitaph by Ben Jonson:--

    "Underneath this sable hearse
    Lies the subject of all verse,
    Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother.
    Death, ere thou hast slain another,
    Fair and wise and good as she,
    Time shall throw a dart at thee."

Penshurst Place, the charming old home of the Sidneys, possesses, or
did possess, the portrait of the painter himself in his thirtieth year.
It is probably also the background in the elaborate and beautiful
miniature by Isaac Oliver, in the Royal Collection, which adorns this
volume (see p. 295). From Penshurst, too, came the profile of Elizabeth
given in this book. I refer to it here because it illustrates so
perfectly what Walpole has said about portraits of Elizabeth, who,
as we have seen, was certainly painted by Hilliard, and it is an apt
criticism on the miniature painting of the time.

[Illustration: S. COOPER.


(_Countess of Caledon._)]

[Illustration: O. CROMWELL'S MOTHER.]

[Illustration: S. COOPER.


(_Sackville Bale Collection._)]

Speaking of the numerous portraits of Elizabeth which exist, he says
there is not a single one to be called beautiful. They are totally
composed of hands and necklaces. A pale Roman nose, a head of hair
loaded with crowns and powdered with diamonds, a vast ruff, a vaster
farthingale, and a bushel of pearls, are the features by which every
one knows them at once. In this connection it may be observed there is
another portrait of Queen Elizabeth, spoken of by Walpole as one of
Hilliard's most capital performances, namely a whole length of her in
robes, sitting on her throne. This was in King Charles I.'s Collection,
and included in the catalogue by Van der Doort, to which frequent
reference has been made, but, so far as I am aware, its whereabouts is
not now known.

Fourteen Hilliards are specified in the above-named catalogue,
including a view of the Spanish Armada. Four of these, portraits, and
copies of older pictures, are now at Windsor, and were once attached
to a gold and enamelled jewel, the work on which, it is surmised,
was probably also Hilliard's, he being, as we have seen, the Court
goldsmith; the portraits are those of Henry VII., Henry VIII., Jane
Seymour, and Edward VI. The latter Van der Doort describes as "meanly
done," "upon a round card." This remarkable example of goldsmith's
work has on one side the roses of York and Lancaster and on the other
a representation of the Battle of Bosworth Field. There are jewelled
badges upon the dress and cap of Henry VII., and the miniature is
dated 1509, the year of his death. In Horace Walpole's copy of Van der
Doort's catalogue, it is noted: "The above jewel and pictures were
done by old Hilliard, and given to the King by young Hilliard, by the
deceased Earl of Pembroke's means."

It is possible, by means of the miniatures of Nicholas Hilliard, to
realise the appearance of many of the personages of Tudor times, and
of Elizabeth's Court in particular. Thus, in the Duke of Buccleuch's
Collection is a portrait, on vellum, of Edward Seymour, Duke of
Somerset; he was the brother of Jane Seymour, uncle of Edward VI., and
was beheaded on Tower Hill, 1552.

Also in the Buccleuch Collection is one of the most beautiful of this
artist's works, namely, a portrait of Alicia Brandon, daughter of
John Brandon, Chamberlain of the City of London. She was the wife of
Hilliard, and was painted by him in her twenty-second year, 1578. The
picture is charming from the vivacity of the features and its delicate
execution. It is circular in form, signed N. H. (connected), and is
preserved in a rose-turned case of logwood with an ivory circular rim.
It was shown in the Royal Academy Winter Exhibition in 1879.

In the Colworth Collection there was formerly a portrait of Darnley,
Earl of Lennox, thus inscribed: "Comes linoz ano Dni 1560 ætatis Suæ
18." I give this description as it is a typical instance of the
abbreviations one commonly finds on Hilliard's miniatures.

[Illustration: ALEXANDER COOPER.


(_H.M. the King._)]

[Illustration: S. COOPER.


(_Dyce Collection._)]

Mrs. Naylor Leyland owns a portrait of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots,
which is ascribed to Hilliard, and has a circumstantial history. It is
said to have been given by the unfortunate Queen to one of her Maids
of Honour on her marriage, from whom it descended to her grandson, the
second and last Earl of Middleton, and thence to the present possessor.
Of course, it is quite possible that this is the work of Hilliard,
although most improbable that the painter ever saw her. In the case
of another unfortunate lady of the period, namely, Arabella Stuart,
the case is different, and he may quite well have had access to this
ill-fated victim of the fears of James I.

Walpole possessed two of her, one when young, which may be that owned
by the Duke of Buccleuch, representing her as a girl with a baby
face. James I. and his wife were painted by him, as we have already
mentioned, and one portrait of the Scottish Solomon was sold at
Christie's for a very large sum. Of the courtiers of Elizabeth we have
a number of well-known personages, Essex and Dudley, for example; of
Drake when forty-two, in Lord Derby's Collection; and a portrait of
George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, Elizabeth's champion, dressed as
for a tournament, in an enormous flapped hat, with a glove, the emblem
of his office, fixed on the front of it. This picture is well known
from the engraving by R. White.

At Kensington, in 1865, might have been seen Nicholas Harbon,
Ambassador to Constantinople; Mrs. Holland, one of Elizabeth's Maids
of Honour; Lord Keeper Coventry; Lady Hunsdon; and a portrait of the
poet Spenser, which last is the property of Lord Fitzhardinge, and here





Those of my readers who are able to agree with the estimate already
advanced in this work as to the unique position held by Samuel Cooper
in the ranks of British miniature painters, will be able to gauge the
position which may be assigned to Isaac Oliver when they read Walpole's
opinion of his powers. He expresses it in the following terms: "We have
no one," says he, "to put in competition with Isaac Oliver, except it
be our own Cooper." This is tantamount to saying that this painter,
Oliver, was one of the greatest we have ever had, in his own walk of
art. It must be remembered that there were two Olivers--Isaac the
father, and Peter, his eldest son and pupil. Walpole could find no
account of the origin of the family, but he notes that in the elder
painter's pocket-book was a mixture of English and French, a point
not without significance. The connoisseur of Strawberry Hill, whose
opinions on art generally, and on his own magnificent collection in
particular, are so interesting, and which we have so often quoted,
states that the excellence of the elder Oliver was such that "we may
challenge any nation to show a greater master"; and Peacham states that
to Hilliard, in conjunction with Zucchero, has been given the credit of
having instructed "a limner inferior to none in Christendome for the
countenance in small."

The elder Oliver was born in 1555 or 1556. He died in his house at
Blackfriars in 1617, the date of Raleigh's execution, and just a year
after the death of Shakespeare. That he was at work till the close of
his life is clear from the inscription upon one of the finest examples
of his powers, namely, the portrait of the Earl of Dorset, formerly in
the possession of Mr. C. Sackville Bale, sold at Christie's in 1880 for
£750, and now one of the most valuable miniatures in the collection Mr.
John Jones bequeathed to the nation, which is housed in the Victoria
and Albert Museum. It is a full length, nearly ten inches high, and
thus signed, "Isaac Olliuierus fecit 1616."

As in the case of other artists mentioned in this book, I do not think
it necessary to dwell much upon the facts of their careers; what I
think more important, and at least as interesting, is to give some
idea of their relative ability, of the character of their work, and
a more or less critical account of some accessible examples to be
found in this country. That, amplified to an extent not possible in
this volume, is what I set before myself in my preceding works upon
Miniature Painters, and in practice I have not found any better way
of treating the subject. So, then, we may disregard the biographical
details of Oliver's life, of which, I take it, there are indeed very
few to be gleaned. We have settled upon excellent authority his rank
and qualifications as a miniature painter, and seen that he ranks as
second only to the "incomparable Samuel Cooper."

Let us now turn to some of the principal known works of this admirable
artist which have survived. Probably the largest number is to be found
in the Duke of Buccleuch's magnificent Collection at Montagu House; but
we may refer first of all to those in the Royal Library at Windsor,
and begin with the celebrated full length of Sir Philip Sidney sitting
under a tree in an arcaded garden, which some think conveys an allusion
to the "Arcadia." It is shown on p. 295, and is reproduced on the exact
scale of the original. This, with so many other of the finest of the
old miniatures, was formerly in the Strawberry Hill Collection. It was
sold at West's sale for the paltry sum of £16 5s.

We have evidence of four miniatures being painted for Charles I. when
Duke of York, as is shown by an entry of payment by warrant in the
office books of the Chambers, dated Lincoln, 1617: "To Isaace Oliver
for four several pictures drawn for the Prince His Highness, Forty
pounds." A profile of Anne of Denmark, now at Windsor, may be one of
these, she being the mother of Charles I.; as may also be the portrait
of Henry, Prince of Wales, his brother, which, according to Sir Richard
Holmes, is the finest extant of that Prince. It is described in Charles
I.'s catalogue as follows: "Number 17, done upon the right light, the
biggest limned picture which was made of Prince Henry, being limned in
the set lace ruff and gilded armour and a landskip wherein are some
soldiers and tents, in a square frame, with a sheeting glass over it,
done by Isaace Oliver, five and a quarter inches by four."

The interesting portrait of George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, who
was stabbed by Felton at Portsmouth in 1628, is probably a late example
of the master, and is in his Majesty's Collection. It is figured on
p. 126, as is also the interesting miniature of the artist himself in
a tall felt hat (see p. 111), which we may conclude was the height
of fashion of the period, there being one extremely like it in the
National Gallery, worn by James I. The miniature here shown is also in
the King's Collection.

Amongst the miniatures by Oliver which are best known are those of Sir
Kenelm Digby and his family, which were shown at Messrs. Dickinson's
Loan Exhibition of 1880. Comparisons are odious, but it must be
admitted that those belonging to the Burdett-Coutts Collection are in
finer condition than those preserved at the home of the Digbys, namely
Sherborne Castle, Dorset, a picturesque Jacobean mansion given by James
I. to Sir Walter Raleigh. [Illustration: PETITOT.


[Illustration: MLLE. FONTANGES.]


(_Burdett-Coutts Collection._)]

These interesting portraits were once at Strawberry Hill, where
they hung in "the blue breakfast room." The way they came into the
possession of Horace Walpole is worth telling. It aptly shows how
easily treasures of this kind may be forgotten and lost. Writing
about Peter Oliver's habit of making duplicates of his works, Walpole

"Since this work was first published a valuable treasure of the works
of this master, and of his father Isaac, was discovered in an old house
in Wales, which belonged to a descendant of Sir Kenelm Digby (Mr.
Watkin Williams). The latest are dated 1633, but being closed in ivory
and ebony cases, and the whole collection locked up in a wainscot box,
they are as perfectly preserved as if newly painted. They all represent
Sir Kenelm and persons related to or connected with him. There are
three portraits of him, six of his beloved wife at different ages, and
three triplicates of his mistress, all three by Isaac Oliver, as is
Lady Digby's mother, which I have mentioned before. But the capital
work is a large miniature copied from Van Dyck of Sir Kenelm, his wife,
and two sons, the most beautiful piece of the size that I believe
exists (see p. 289). There is a duplicate of Sir Kenelm and Lady Digby
from the same picture, and though of not half the volume, still more
highly finished. This last piece is set in gold, richly inlaid with
flowers in enamel, and shuts like a book. All these, with several
others, I purchased at a great price, but they are not to be matched."

It is noteworthy that nearly all the portraits of Sir Kenelm and his
wife ascribed to Isaac Oliver must be by Peter, as Isaac died when the
originals were boy and girl. Sir Kenelm Digby was born in 1603. Isaac
Oliver was buried in October, 1617. One of the portraits is dated
1627. This discrepancy in Walpole's account, wherein, as we have seen
above, he speaks of Sir Kenelm's mistress as being painted by the elder
Oliver, may be owing to his misreading the monogram. The large copy
after Van Dyck of the family group is dated 1635.

Amongst the Digby portraits at Sherborne Castle is that remarkable
one of Venetia Lady Digby lying dead in her bed. This is ascribed to
Peter Oliver. Walpole had six portraits of her at different ages, and
Lord Clarendon speaks of her as "a lady of extraordinary beauty and
of as extraordinary fame." Nor was her husband less remarkable. I
have somewhere seen him described as "the bravest gentleman and the
biggest liar of his time." Be that as it may, he was certainly of
handsome appearance, extraordinary strength, and distinguished as a
soldier, scholar, and courtier. His father was Sir Everard Digby, who
was executed for his share in the Gunpowder Plot. Sir Kenelm renounced
the faith of his father, and was entered at Gloucester Hall, Oxford.
He was on the Continent at an early age, and, returning in 1623, was
knighted by James I. Five years later we hear of him commanding a small
squadron in the Mediterranean. During the Civil War he had the prudence
to retire to France. Returning to England at the Restoration, he lived
at his house in Covent Garden till the year of his death, namely 1665.

His wife, Venetia Anastasia, was the youngest daughter of Sir Edward
Stanley, and was born at Tong Castle, in Shropshire, in 1600. They had
two sons--Kenelm, killed during the Civil War in a skirmish at St.
Neots; and John, who was disinherited by his father, but ultimately
succeeded to a portion of the property.

Judging from the lovely group after Van Dyck which, by the courtesy of
the late lamented Baroness Burdett-Coutts, I am able to show of this
interesting family, these two sons would seem to have inherited the
physical beauty of their parents. Another group not less remarkable,
and in a sense more interesting in this connection, inasmuch as it
is an original work of the artist himself, and not a copy from any
other, is that of the three brothers, Anthony Maria, John, and William
Browne. This noble piece, which measures ten inches by nine, is now at
Burleigh, the owner of which historic house, the Marquess of Exeter,
is descended from the eldest of these young men. The work was known
to Walpole, and was at Cowdray in his time. He thus describes it: "At
Lord Montague's at Cowdray is an invaluable work of Isaac Oliver's.
It represents three brothers of that lord's family, whole lengths
in black. These young gentlemen resemble each other remarkably, a
peculiarity observable in the picture, the motto on which is _figuræ
conformis affectus_. The black dresses are relieved by gold belts and
lace collars, and contrasted by the silver-laced doublet of another
young man, presumably a page, who is entering the room."

This beautiful group is in perfect preservation, of absolutely
superlative quality, and, as we have seen, upon an important scale.
It possesses also the interest of having, with three other pictures,
escaped the disastrous fire at Cowdray in 1793. This fatality is said
to have marked the end of the race of the Lords Montague, and the last
scion of the house lost his life over the Falls of Schaffhausen just at
the time the flames destroyed the old family mansion. It is said that
messengers--one bearing the news of the death of the last Lord Montague
by water and the other of the destruction of the home of the race by
fire--met one another in Paris. Earl Spencer possesses a very fine copy
of this work in oils, painted by Sherwin in 1781.

Any readers who may desire further genealogical details of the brothers
represented will find them in my book on "Miniature Painters, British
and Foreign," pp. 39 and 40.

I am not aware of Isaac Oliver holding any appointment at Court, but
of courtiers and of the aristocracy of his day he must have painted a
great number. This was made clear at the exhibition of the Burlington
Fine Arts Club in 1889, when some five and twenty or thirty more or
less well-authenticated works by Isaac Oliver were shown, besides a
number by Peter Oliver.

That masterpiece of Oliver's, the Earl of Dorset, now in the Jones
Collection, at Kensington, has already been described, and reference
has been made to the portrait of Buckingham belonging to the King.
There was another of "Steenie," by Isaac Oliver, in the Propert
Collection. Mr. Jefferey Whitehead owns, or did own, a couple of
portraits of Sir Francis Drake. Lord Derby possesses one of the
ill-fated Elizabeth of Bohemia.

Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, appears to have been painted oftener,
almost, than any one of his time. Thus, the Duke of Devonshire
possesses two Olivers of him, the King another, and there was one in
the Propert Collection also assigned to him. The "wicked" Countess
of Essex, Frances Howard, afterwards Countess of Somerset, condemned
to death for her share in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, was also
painted by Oliver. The Earl of Derby and Major-General Sotheby possess
miniatures of her.

[Illustration: PETITOT.


[Illustration: CARDINAL MAZARIN.

(_Earl of Carlisle._)]

[Illustration: JAMES II.

(_Burdett-Coutts Collection._)]

[Illustration: CHARLES I.

(_Burdett-Coutts Collection._)]


There is a passing reference to Isaac Oliver in the very interesting
autobiography of Lord Herbert, of Cherbury. That remarkable man tells
a story of "a Lady, wife to Sir John Ayres, knight, who, finding some
means to get a copy of my picture from Larkin, gave it to Mr. Isaac
[Oliver], the Painter in Blackfriars, and desired him to draw it in
little, after his manner, which being done, she caused it to be set
in gold and enamelled, and so wore it about her neck so low that she
had it under her breasts." Lord Herbert adds that he caught Lady Ayres
lying upon her bed contemplating the miniature!

The temptation to stop and gossip about some of these people, as, for
instance, the lady to whom reference has just been made, is almost
irresistible; in truth it may be said that almost all the people
painted by Oliver are remarkable either for their virtues, their vices,
or their misfortunes; in this latter category must be placed the
unfortunate Arabella Stuart, of whom Major-General Sotheby and Mr. J.
K. D. Wingfield Digby possess examples, the latter owning two.

The number of portraits existing of this lady, of various kinds, is
somewhat remarkable, and I am led to surmise that it may be accounted
for by the sympathy aroused by the fate of this unhappy creature.
I may mention, in support of this conjecture, the existence of a
miniature that belonged to a collection which may be described as the
Stuart Collection, inasmuch as it once belonged to James II., and
has a circumstantial history which we must not stop to go into here,
further than to say that these miniatures are all supposed to possess
historical authenticity, and are works of high quality. Amongst them
is one of Lady Arabella Stuart, ascribed to Peter Oliver. Now, the
ill-fated victim of the political jealousy of James I. ended her days
in the Tower in 1615, and Peter Oliver, whose work it is supposed to
have been, was not born till 1601, or as some say 1604; hence it is
almost impossible that he could or did paint it from life. The fact
that he painted her at all, a political prisoner, whose reason had
given way before the artist was in his teens, points to an interest
in her fate, whether felt by him or by others, such as led, as I have
said, to a multiplication of her portraits.

Catherine Cary, Countess of Nottingham, whose portrait is in the Duke
of Buccleuch's Collection, and Lady Teresa Shirley are both ladies with
stories which belong to the byways of history.

Before leaving Isaac Oliver, there is one other kind of work of which
he did a good deal, and to which I must refer, namely, the copying in
miniature of paintings by the old masters, of which--but this is by
the way--Peter Oliver appears to have done still more. Isaac did not
live to finish all his work of this nature, as is shown by an entry in
the catalogue of Charles I. of a "great limned piece of the Burial of
Christ, which was invented by Isaac Oliver, and was left unfinished at
his decease, and now, by His Majesty's appointment finished by his son
Peter Oliver."

Peter Oliver erected a monument to his father in the Church of St.
Anne's, Blackfriars; it was a bust, and both the monument and the
church perished in the Great Fire of 1666. Vertue recalls having seen
a model of the bust; and with a copy of the entry occurring in the
register of this church I may conclude my remarks on Isaac Oliver:
"Isaack Oliver buried 2nd October 1617. Mr. Peter Oliver buried
September 22 1647."


Peter Oliver was the eldest son of his father, and was born, as we have
before observed, at the very opening of the seventeenth century. There
is a portrait of him by Hanneman, a Dutch painter who came to this
country soon after Van Dyck, at Hampton Court, which, if we may trust
it, shows him to have been a man with dark brown hair and dark, dreary
eyes. As he did not live to be fifty years of age, dying two years
before the execution of Charles I., he must have worked hard. The Van
der Doort catalogue, of which frequent mention has been made, includes
thirteen of the paintings once in the possession of Charles, which
were copied in water colours by Peter Oliver, as were portraits of the
Stuart family.

He married, and had children, and Vertue tells a story, upon the
authority of Russell the painter, who was connected with the Olivers,
which shows that Peter Oliver's work for and in connection with the
Court was well known to Charles II. We do not hear much of the "Merry
Monarch" as a patron of art, nor as a model of filial affection, but
some motive or other took him _incognito_, we are told, to Isleworth on
a visit to the widow of Peter Oliver to make inquiries about miniatures
which she was supposed to possess. "The King went very privately ... to
see them, the widow showed several finished and unfinished; asked if
she would sell them, she said she had a mind the King should see them
first, and if he did not purchase them, she would think of disposing
of them; the King discovered himself, on which she produced some more
pictures which she seldom showed. The King desired her to set her
price; she said she did not care to make a price with His Majesty, she
would leave it to him, but promised to look over her husband's books,
and to let him know what prices his father, the late King, had paid.
The King took away what he liked, and sent Rogers to Mrs. Oliver with
the option of £1,000, or an annuity of £300 for life, and she chose the
latter. Some years afterwards, the King's mistresses having begged all
or most of these pictures, Mrs. Oliver said, on hearing it, that if
she had thought that the King would have given them to such unworthy
persons, he never should have had them. This reached the Court, the
poor woman's salary was stopped, and she never received it afterwards."

_Apropos_ of the return of the many treasures which we know were
dispersed at the close of the Civil War, I may mention an instance of a
piece which was formerly in the Royal Collection, and has gone back
to Windsor of recent times. It is an interesting work by Peter Oliver,
dated 1628, and is a copy of Raphael's "St. George," about half the
size of the original, which latter, by the way, was presented to Henry
VII. by the Duke of Urbino, in return for the Order of the Garter. The
copy found its way back to the Royal Collection in 1883, having been
purchased at the sale at Christie's of the Hamilton Palace treasures in
that year.

[Illustration: PETITOT LE VIEUX.

(_Earl Dartrey._)]

[Illustration: PETITOT.

(_From a print in the British Museum._)]

[Illustration: CHARLES II.

(_Burdett-Coutts Collection._)]

Sir Richard Holmes, to whom I am indebted for the information, surmises
that the copy may have been given by Charles to the Marquess of
Hamilton. The original painting, one regrets to say, was sold at the
Rebellion; it is now the property of the Russian Crown, and hangs in
the Hermitage at St. Petersburg.

There is an interesting entry in John Evelyn's diary just after the
Restoration, which runs as follows: "I went with some of my relations
to the Court, to show them His Majesty's cabinet and closet of
varieties, the rare miniatures of Peter Oliver after Raphael, Titian,
and other masters, which I infinitely esteem."

Judging from the amount of work in the shape of copies of the old
masters, which we know to have been executed by Peter Oliver, and,
further, the comparatively small number of portraits by him one meets
with, it would seem probable that he did less in the way of portraiture
than his father. Thus at the Burlington Fine Arts Club exhibition works
assigned to Isaac Oliver were at least three times as numerous as
those assigned to Peter Oliver. I may mention here that besides the
Digbys, the younger artist was also credited in this collection with
having painted the Countess of Nottingham and the Earls of Somerset and
Southampton, Lady Arabella Stuart, and others.

Where there are two artists of the same name working at the same
period, as in the case of the Olivers, mistakes easily occur, and we
have seen an instance of it in the case of Walpole's error with regard
to the Digby family, as shown on a preceding page. I may therefore call
collectors' particular attention, in distinguishing the works of these
great limners, to the fact that the elder Oliver signed his works with
a monogram F, whilst the younger used the initials P. O.


The researches both of Vertue and of Walpole have resulted in
discovering but very little about the career of that excellent
miniature painter John Hoskins, and both quote an extract from Graham's
"English School," to this effect: "He [Hoskins] was bred to face
painting in oils, but afterwards taking to miniature, far exceeded
what he did before. He drew Charles, his Queen, and most of the Court,
and had two considerable disciples, Alexander and Samuel Cooper, the
latter of whom became much the more eminent limner"; and though it
must be conceded there is not much to be gleaned about the life of the
man, it is evident that he had a considerable share of the Court and
aristocratic patronage in his day.

The Earl of Wharncliffe possesses, or did possess, portraits of the
Countess of Carlisle, as well as one of Oliver Cromwell. Mr. Whitehead
does, or did, possess one of Lucy, Viscountess Falkland; also one of
John Gauden, Bishop of Worcester. Lord Derby owns a portrait of the
ill-fated Henrietta Maria; the Duke of Devonshire one of Thomas Hobbs,
philosopher; General Sotheby owns portraits of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey
and Sir Charles Lucas.

We miss in the works of Hoskins the minute touch of Hilliard, the
refinement of the Olivers, and the breadth of Samuel Cooper; yet Sir
Kenelm Digby, in his "Discourses," says that "by his paintings he
pleased the public more than Van Dyck." Horace Walpole allows his heads
to have great truth and nature, but finds fault with the carnations as
"too bricky and wanting a degradation and variety of tints."

The few lines quoted above virtually sum up the approximate rank and
position of John Hoskins, and I am not aware that recent biographers
have discovered anything of importance to add to them. That he was
master to such an artist as Samuel Cooper, and that his pupil's manner
was clearly formed on that of the master, constitute, perhaps, the
strongest claim that can be urged for Hoskins in connection with this

There is a great deal of truth to nature in Hoskins's work. Elsewhere
I have termed his style virile and unaffected, and I do not know that
I can find more appropriate epithets. At the same time, the justice
of Walpole's criticism, that Hoskins is defective in colour, must be
admitted. It is quite true that the carnations are too bricky, and
wanting in gradation and variety of tint. This deficiency, which is a
very serious one in miniature painting, depriving the flesh tints of
their charm, may be traced in part to the medium employed. The amount
of body colour used by limners of this period was so great, that the
transparency of tone attained by later painters was impossible.

The work of the incomparable Cooper himself is not free from this
defect, and we see it carried to excess both in the case of Cooper's
master and in that of his pupil Flatman. All three are marked by
a certain dryness of colour attaining to brickiness, only Cooper
generally avoids the extremes into which the other two artists fall.
This fault, it may be said, is characteristic of examples I have seen
and possess.

The character of Charles I., whose melancholy visage Hoskins has drawn
in a miniature now at Windsor, and here shown, is extremely well
rendered. In the Duke of Rutland's valuable collection at Belvoir
Castle there is an interesting portrait of Charles, when Prince of
Wales, aged fourteen, ascribed to Hoskins, but infinitely inferior in
the rendering of expression. Lord Carlisle owns, I believe, a replica
of the last named. One of the finest examples of the master that I have
met with is a portrait of Percy, tenth Earl of Northumberland, now in
the collection of Lord Aldenham, and this nobleman also possesses a
portrait of Elizabeth, wife of Frederick, fifth King of Bohemia.

The question has been raised whether there were two John Hoskinses,
father and son. It will be noticed that in an extract from Graham
which I have given he speaks of but one Hoskins, and those who argue
that there were two appear to rest their contention mainly upon the
foundation of a variation in the manner of signing the portrait. Thus
the mark + is said to distinguish the works of the father from those
of the son, which have I. H. simply. But if this be the test, then it
may be urged that there were several John Hoskinses, since amongst the
miniatures shown at Burlington House from Windsor, and by the Duke of
Buccleuch, ascribed to Hoskins, there were the following different
signatures: H. only, I. H. 1645, I. H. fc, I. H. (connected).

I am unable to give the date of the birth of John Hoskins, but he died
in 1664, and was buried in St. Paul's, Covent Garden.



[Illustration: S. LIOTARD.




(_Earl of Charlemont._)]



As Hilliard has made us familiar with the features of the most
distinguished members of the Court of Elizabeth, so, a hundred years
later, did Samuel Cooper, that "admirable workman and good company"
as Pepys describes him, draw for us on a few inches of cardboard the
presentment of the Cromwell family and many of the men and beautiful
women who made up the _entourage_ of the second Charles.

Samuel Cooper, in whom, it has been said, the art of miniature painting
culminated, was born in London, in 1609. He came of an artistic stock,
his uncle being John Hoskins, himself a painter of no mean reputation,
as we have just seen. Samuel was instructed by his elder brother
Alexander in the art of limning, and both brothers are reputed to have
been the pupils of their uncle. Be that as it may, Samuel spent much of
his life on the Continent, and was intimate with many of the eminent
men of his day. Pepys frequently mentions the artist in terms of warm
commendation. Possibly the fact that he was an excellent musician
endeared him to the amiable diarist, who, under the date "1668, July
10th," says: "To Cooper's, and there find my wife.... And here he do
work finely, though I fear it will not be so like as I expected; but
now I understand his great skill in music, his playing and setting to
the French lute most excellently, and he speaks French, and indeed is
an excellent man." This visit is explained by a previous entry, on
March 29th: "Harris ... hath persuaded me to have Cooper draw my wife's
portrait, which, though it cost £30, yet will I have done." Thirty
pounds in those days was, of course, a considerable sum of money, but
it seems to have been Cooper's usual price for a miniature, as we learn
from the record of another visit to the painter in the pages of the
immortal diary: "To Cooper's, where I spent all the afternoon with my
wife and girl, seeing him make an end of her picture, which he did to
my great content, though not so great as I confess I expected, being
not satisfied in the greatness of the resemblance, nor in the blue
garment; but it is most certainly a most rare piece of work as to the
painting. He hath £30 for his work, and the chrystal and case and gold
case comes to £8 3s. 4d., and which I sent him this night that I might
be out of his debt." Elsewhere Pepys relates visiting the artist's
studio and being much struck with the miniature of "one Swinfen,
Secretary to my Lord Manchester.... This fellow died in debt and never
paid Cooper for this picture.... Cooper himself did buy it [from the
creditors], and give £25 out of his purse for it, for what he was to
have had but £30."

[Illustration: UNKNOWN.


(_Lord Tweedmouth._)]

[Illustration: GASPAR NETSCHER.


(_Charles Butler, Esq._)]

The market value of Cooper's miniatures, however, very rapidly rose.
Thus we find Walpole writing in February, 1758, to Sir Horace Mann:
"But our glaring extravagance is in the constant high price given
for pictures.... I know but one dear picture not sold (this was at
Mr. Furnese's auction)--Cooper's head of O. Cromwell, an unfinished
miniature. They asked me four hundred pounds for it."

Of this masterpiece, which Cunningham correctly assumes to be "the one
mentioned elsewhere as in the possession of Lady Franklin, widow of Sir
Thomas, a descendant of Cromwell, of which there is an exquisite copy
in the Harley Collection at Welbeck, made in 1723 by Bernard Lens,"
Dallaway says it is related in the family that Cromwell surprised
Cooper while he was copying the portrait and indignantly took it away
with him. The original was shown at Burlington House in 1879, being
then in the possession of the Duke of Buccleuch. It formerly belonged
to Mr. Henry Cromwell Frankland, of Chichester, who inherited it
through a daughter of Lady Elizabeth Claypole. The Lady Frankland (not
Franklin) mentioned above was the grand-daughter of Oliver Cromwell.

The Protector and his family seem to have been very favourite subjects
of the painter. Thus in the Loan Collection of 1865, out of some
eighty or ninety miniatures ascribed to Cooper there were no less than
seven of Oliver Cromwell, and almost as many of his daughters and of
Richard Cromwell. A very beautiful example is the portrait of Oliver's
second and favourite daughter, Elizabeth Claypole, who is said to have
upbraided her father for his share in the death of Charles I. and
his cruelty in sanctioning the execution of the Royalist agent, Dr.
Hewitt. It is signed S. C. 1655 and belongs to the Duke of Devonshire,
who also possesses a very fine portrait of the Protector, of which a
French critic, M. de Conches, has remarked that Cooper was a man who
knew how to enlarge the style of a miniature, and that this particular
specimen was as vigorous as oil, perfectly modelled and firm in touch.
In the same collection is the profile drawing on paper in pen and brown
ink from which Houbraken engraved his portrait. At Stafford House is
another portrait of Oliver, and also a very interesting example of the
pencil studies from which the artist used to paint his miniatures.
It was in connection with this portrait that Walpole gave it as his
opinion that "If his portrait of Cromwell could be so enlarged [to the
size of one of Van Dyck's pictures], I do not know but Van Dyck would
appear less great by comparison." This is the portrait referred to
by Walpole above. The Duke of Buccleuch possesses another Cooper of
unsurpassed interest--Cromwell's Latin Secretary. This portrait of the
poet fully bears out the description of Aubrey, who says that Milton
"had light browne haire. His complexion exceeding fayre, oval face, his
eie a dark gray. He was a spare man."

[Illustration: W. DERBY.


(_Earl of Derby._)]

[Illustration: JAMES NIXON.


(_Canon Raffles Flint._)]

Another characteristic of Cooper's work is that he frequently leaves
his miniatures unfinished, being content, apparently, as soon as he
had seized the likeness. It was this peculiarity, doubtless, that
gave rise to Walpole's disparaging, and, it must be contended, unjust
remark that "Cooper, with so much merit, had two defects: his skill
was confined to a mere head; his drawing of the neck and shoulders so
incorrect and untoward that it seems to account for the number of his
works unfinished. It looks as if he was sensible how small a way his
talent extended[!] This very properly accounts for the other [defect],
his want of grace, a signal deficiency in a painter of portraits, yet
how seldom possessed."

As to this latter deficiency, it is very much a matter of opinion.
Those who have seen the portrait at Windsor of the Duke of Monmouth
when young will hardly be disposed to allow it; indeed, when we
have such an amazing power of seizing character, and such breadth
of delineation, we can afford to dispense with mere superficial
prettiness. And, to return to Walpole's first contention, it is surely
unlikely that the artist who could portray such subtleties of character
and expression as Cooper did should not have been able to extend his
talent "so small a way" as to draw necks and shoulders if he had been
so minded.

In the Royal Collection is a head of Charles II., which with another
of George Monck, Duke of Albemarle, and that of Monmouth mentioned
above, form a trio of portraits difficult to surpass for character and
simplicity, although the two last are unfinished. There is, however,
no want of finish in the elaborate picture of Charles II., wearing the
Robes of the Garter, which belongs to the Duke of Richmond, and is
preserved at Goodwood. It is one of the largest and finest examples of
the master, and gives more dignity to that cynical voluptuary than any
portrait of him with which I am acquainted.

It has been said that Cooper's portraits of women are inferior to his
portraits of men, and, on the whole, I think this must be conceded.

In the Dyce Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum will be found
a series of fourteen more or less unfinished miniatures attributed to
Samuel Cooper, and shown with a pocket-book in which they were found,
which formerly belonged to Mr. Edwin H. Lawrence.

I have used the word "attributed" advisedly, because several of these
miniatures, attractive as they are, seem to me to lack the supreme
quality of Samuel Cooper's work. Some, it has been suggested, recall
Flatman[3] rather, or, as I think more likely, Dixon. They are in
various stages of completion, and show the artist's method of working;
well drawn and broadly treated, they are excellent work, and most
interesting, technically speaking.

[Footnote 3: Thomas Flatman was a briefless barrister and poet, who
imitated but never equalled Cooper's work, although Vertue pronounces
him equal to Hoskins. His portrait by Lely is in the National Portrait

The biographical details to be gleaned of this English master miniature
painter seem to be meagre in the extreme, and still slighter are they
in the case of his elder brother Alexander. I recall two examples of
the latter's work, both in the Royal Library at Windsor; one a portrait
of Sir John King, a highly successful lawyer of his day, a favourite
of King Charles II., who intended to make him Attorney-General; but
he died when only thirty-eight, and lies buried in the Temple Church.
Granger says of him: "Such was his reputation and so extensive his
practice that in the latter part of his life his fees amounted to forty
and fifty pounds a day." His portrait is given on p. 141. The other is
of James Stuart, created second Duke of Richmond in 1641. This nobleman
is noteworthy as being one of the four who offered their lives to save
King Charles I.

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_Meynell-Ingram Collection._)]

[Illustration: S. SHELLEY.


(_Miss Kendall._)]

[Illustration: S. COLLINS.


(_Earl of Carlisle._)]

There is great strength and force of character in the portrait of this
staunch Royalist. Technically, however, both pieces are inferior to the
work of Samuel Cooper.

[Illustration: W. DERBY.


(_Earl of Derby._)]





As we saw in a previous chapter, it is to a Frenchman, Jean Toutin,
that the credit of applying enamel to portraiture must be given. It
may be remarked, in passing, that it is somewhat remarkable that
this difficult but beautiful process should come into use just as
the older and decorative enamelling fell into decay. Jean Toutin was
assisted by pupils, amongst whom one stands pre-eminent, so much so
that the fame of the early professors of this art, including that of
Toutin himself, may be said to have become merged in the reputation of
Petitot, and everything in the shape of a portrait in enamel of that
period is commonly assigned, one might almost say without hesitation,
to Jean Petitot, very often, it is needless to add, upon the slenderest
grounds. We are fortunate to possess in this country a considerable
number of examples of the portraiture we are about to discuss. These
may be seen and studied in the Jones Collection at the Victoria
and Albert Museum. A comparison of them will show how wide are the
differences existing between works ostensibly by the same artist, to
whom we may now return.

Petitot came of a family of French origin, but was born at Geneva,
where his parents, having adopted the reformed religion, had settled.
Paul, the father of Jean Petitot, was a wood-carver. His son is
thought by some of his biographers, of whom there are several, to have
commenced life as a goldsmith and jeweller. We have already seen how
close was the connection between the various occupations of goldsmith
and jeweller, enameller and miniature painter, and this connection
was still existing at the beginning of the seventeenth century, when
Petitot was born. We need not stop to inquire precisely into the early
stages of our artist's career, but we may gather that he applied
himself to an occupation which was the fashion of the time, namely,
the enrichment of gems with ornaments, such as flowers and the like,
in enamel; and we may safely conclude that he became proficient,
for, after a sojourn in France, he came to England when he was about
twenty-eight. Arrived in London in 1634 or 1635, Petitot proceeded to
show the Court jeweller his work in enamel; this led to an introduction
to the King. Charles I., a passionate lover of art, as we know, must
have appreciated the artist's ability, since we find that he assigned
him an apartment in the palace at Whitehall.

By great good fortune, the young Petitot had the advantage of the
protection of a Genevese, physician to the King, and a celebrated
chemist, Sir Turquet de Mayerne. Such a patron and colleague must
have been of the utmost assistance to our artist in this stage of his
career, since he was able to further his chemical researches, and aid
him in experiments in vitrification which resulted in the painter's
palette being much enriched and his methods perfected. I may remark, by
the way, there is a very characteristic portrait of Sir Turquet, after
Rubens, at Hampton Court.

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


But, in addition to the scientific help which Petitot's countryman was
able to afford, the artist enjoyed the advantage of instruction from
the King's chief portrait painter, Sir Anthony Van Dyck; and it is
significant of the close relationship which probably existed between
the two artists that the copies which Petitot made from the great
Fleming's work are esteemed as amongst his most exquisite productions,
combining grace and freedom with marvellous exactness, in spite of the
minuteness of the scale. It is one of these copies of Van Dyck, namely
the whole length of Rachel de Rouvigny, Countess of Southampton, that
Horace Walpole does not hesitate to call "indubitably the most capital
work in enamel in the world.... It is nine and three-quarter inches
high, by five and three-quarter inches wide, and though the enamel is
not perfect in some trifling parts, the execution is the boldest, and
the colouring the most rich and beautiful that can be imagined. It is
dated 1642."

He also mentions a portrait of Buckingham, painted about the same time.

Three years later we find Petitot arrived in Paris, led to take refuge
in France, there can be little doubt, by the troubles which attended
the outbreak of civil war in this country. He was favourably received
by Cardinal Mazarin, and seems to have established himself at the
French Court with the same facility that he had done in the case of the
English Court, as we find him installed in the Louvre and in receipt of
a pension from Le Grand Monarque.

The portraits of Louis XIV. by Petitot may be termed almost
innumerable, for reasons which I hope to show by and by.

Five or six years after his return to France he married Madeleine
Cuper, and a certain Jacques Bordier, of whom more anon, married her
sister Margaret.

The brothers-in-law worked together for many years, Bordier being
responsible for the draperies and backgrounds of the portraits and
Petitot for the exquisite details of the features. This art partnership
lasted until the death of Bordier, in 1684. Petitot remained in Paris
till 1687, a period of forty-two years. He would have quitted France
earlier, namely at the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685, but
Louis was clearly unwilling to part with him. The King shut up the
painter, whose Protestant origin we have already mentioned, in Fort
l'Evêque, and sent the eloquent Bossuet to convert him. To regain his
liberty "he signed like the rest," and escaped to Geneva. By this time
the artist was in his eightieth year, but his powers of vision and the
cunning of his hand appear to have been unabated. At any rate, he was
overwhelmed, we are told, with commissions, and retired to Vevey to
escape the importunity of his patrons. He lived four years longer, and
was carried off by a sudden illness in a day, "as he was painting his
wife," says Walpole.

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_Earl of Carlisle._)]


(_Earl of Carlisle._)]


A mention has been made of Bordier as Petitot's brother-in-law; and I
may here point out that according to Monsieur Reiset, the compiler of
the catalogue of the Louvre, there were two Bordiers who worked with
Petitot in England, namely Jacques, to whom reference has already been
made, and Peter Bordier. I do not know that there is much to be learned
about these _collaborateurs_ of Petitot, but of the two Peter seems
the better known, and is indeed reputed to have been the master of
Petitot. He remained in England after Petitot left it, and painted for
the Parliament a memorial of the Battle of Naseby, which was presented
to Fairfax. It was in the shape of a watch. Walpole purchased it from
the collection at Thoresby, whither it came from the executors of the
famous Roundhead general. It will be found fully described in the
"Anecdotes of Painting."

_Apropos_ of the Bordiers, I may mention that Petitot had a very large
family, namely, eight daughters and nine sons; but only one, so far
as I know, namely Jean, who is known as Petitot le fils, displayed
anything of his father's artistic talent. This younger Petitot was
patronised by our King Charles II. He was born in 1650, settled in
England, and married Madeleine Bordier, the daughter of his father's
colleague. He died in London, and after his death his family removed
to Dublin. His work was distinctly inferior to his father's, both in
colour and in finish. The Earl of Dartrey, who possesses a number of
enamels, has amongst his valuable collection "Petitot le vieux par luy
mesme," also "Petitot fils and his wife." The two latter are inscribed
as follows: "Petitot fait par luy mesme d'age de 33 ans 1685."
"Petitot a fait ce portrait à Paris en Janvier 1690 qui est sa femme."

Another son of the elder Petitot rose to be a Major-General in the
British Army.

Besides the younger Petitot, a number of imitators and copyists
of the elder may be named. Amongst these were his contemporaries
Perrot and Chatillon, the engraver. Then there is Jacques Philippe
Ferrand, who studied under Mignard; he was a member of the Academy
and a _valet-de-chambre_ to Louis XIV. His father, Louis Ferrand,
had been physician to the preceding monarch. At a later date we
find Mademoiselle Chavant, who painted at Sèvres at the end of the
eighteenth century; Moïse Constantin, who was an enameller, and also
painted on porcelain. He was a Genevese, but lived at Paris, and was
painter to the King, 1726-8. Four more Genevese, also enamellers, may
be named, all of whom painted copies of Petitot, namely, Alexandre de
la Chana, Dufey, Lambert, and J. G. Soutter.

When we come to know of all these imitators or followers of Petitot,
we begin to understand the enormous quantity of work attributed to him
by the uninitiated; but difficult as it may be for the unpractised eye
to discriminate, there may very well be a large number of works which
are from the hand of Petitot himself, because, as we have seen, he
spent a long and laborious life, and there was in his time a demand
for this particular kind of portraiture far in excess of anything like
modern requirements. That demand arose from the use of these enamel
portraits for snuff-boxes, which were then so largely employed, not
only for personal use, but as diplomatic presents. The amount of taste
and labour bestowed upon these objects may be realised by those who
will study the Le Noir Collection at the Louvre, the many fine pieces
at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and last, but not least, those shown
at Hertford House. They were, of course, extremely expensive, and
such was their artistic charm that we do not wonder at people making
a hobby of collecting them. Thus, we are told, Frederick the Great
owned 1,500 snuff-boxes; then there was the Comte de Brieulle, the
favourite minister of the King of Saxony, who was said to have owned
300 costumes, with a walking-stick and snuff-box appropriate to each.
This was the nobleman of whom Frederick the Great remarked that he had
"tant de perruques et si peu de tête."

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_Shaftesbury family._)]

These _boits aux portraits_ were in fashionable use during the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We have seen how Louis XIV.
employed Petitot as far back as 1645, and we read of a portrait of
Louis XVI. when Dauphin being sent to Marie Antoinette on her arrival
in 1770. The picture was by P. A. Hall, the most distinguished
miniaturist in France, and cost 2,664 francs. The box in which it was
mounted contained seventy-five brilliants, costing over seventy-eight
thousand francs, or nearly thirty times as much. The production
of portraits for these snuff-boxes assumed the proportions of a
manufactory at the French Court during the eighteenth century; thus the
archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contain entries showing
that enamel portraits were made by the dozen, and one Bruckmann, a
Swede, supplied as many as nineteen at a time.

I may mention with regard to the illustrations of Petitot here shown
that the portrait of Cardinal Richelieu is mounted in a lovely chased
gold and jasper snuff-box, which once belonged to the King of Saxony.
The Louis XIV. is also upon a snuff-box. The Cardinal Mazarin comes
from the Earl of Carlisle's celebrated collection at Castle Howard.

The Charles I. on a preceding page was at Strawberry Hill, and Walpole
thus speaks of it: "I have a fine head of Charles I., for which he
probably sat, as it is not like any I have seen by Van Dyck. My
portrait came from one of his [Petitot's] sons, who was a Major in our
service, and died a Major-General at Northallerton 1764." This now
belongs to the Burdett-Coutts Collection, as does the Charles II., the
extremely fine James II., and also, I may remind the reader, the lovely
Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, perhaps the most beautiful of all his
works, and reproduced on p. 151.

A few words may be said in conclusion as to the painter's method. He
is reported to have generally used plates of gold or silver, seldom
copper, for the foundation of his miniatures. His signed works are
excessively rare. The Duke of Buckingham, dated 1640, to which I have
already referred, is signed, however, and in the Louvre there is an
example bearing a date, but these are exceptions. The beautiful borders
which, in the shape of wreaths of enamelled flowers, are to be met with
around his works, such as that in the Jones Collection, for example,
are the work of Jules Legarré, goldsmith to the King, with whom there
is little doubt Jean Petitot must have worked in the execution of
commissions for the Court.

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_W. B. Stopford, Esq._)]


(_Earl of Carlisle._)]



[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_National Portrait Gallery._)]

[Illustration: LADY HAMILTON.

(_J. H. Anderdon, Esq._)]

[Illustration: A. PLIMER.




It is a hundred years from the death of Samuel Cooper, which was in
1672, to the time when Cosway, Smart, and Humphrey may be said to have
established their reputation as miniature painters of the first rank.
Thus Richard Cosway was elected Royal Academician in 1773, and Ozias
Humphrey, having made his start in life and obtained Royal patronage,
set out the same year with Romney for Italy. Five years later John
Smart was made Vice-President of the Incorporated Society of Artists.

This century, it will be observed, takes in the whole of the early
Georgian period; and it is a time of great dearth and barrenness in
our subject, indeed, of art generally, in this country. When the three
distinguished artists I have just named, Petitot and the two or three
good enamellers we had, such as Meyer and Moser, whom I have dealt with
elsewhere--I say, when these names are excepted, practically none of
the first importance remain.

Lawrence Crosse (1724-1784), with his somewhat heavy and insipid
style, his fondness for blue drapery--so well shown in the Duke
of Portland's Collection--and the Lens family, with their somewhat
puzzling personality, may be named. There was also some good work
done by stray artists like Gaspar Netscher, whose rendering of the
imperious Sarah Jennings from the collection of Mr. Charles Butler I
give on p. 177. Then there was the eccentric Jean Etienne Liotard, who
was born at Geneva in 1702 and died there in the first year of the
French Revolution. He was an artist of great ability, but of somewhat
irregular habits and uncertain methods of work, and was known in Paris
as "le Turc."

Oriental costumes had a fascination for him, and some of his finest
drawings are of figures in flowing Eastern robes. Walpole criticises
him and says his likenesses were as exact as possible; Sir Joshua
Reynolds seems to have been jealous of him and sneers at his style.
Probably his best work was in pastel. He was patronised by Maria
Theresa, and by Royalty in this country. The Museum at Amsterdam has of
late years been enriched by several examples bequeathed by descendants.
I confess to finding great charm in his work; so far as I know, he is
unrepresented in our National collections, except by some drawings in
the print-room of the British Museum. In the Salle des Dessins at the
Louvre, however, is a striking full-length figure of a woman in Russian
costume; and the Bessborough family possess works by him, he having met
the Earl of Bessborough of his day at Constantinople and enjoyed that
nobleman's patronage.

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_Sir A. J. Campbell-Orde, Bart._)]

I give examples of two excellent English artists of this period whose
work is very pleasing without being, perhaps, of the first rank, viz.,
James Nixon, born within a year or two of Ozias Humphrey--that is, in
1741 (his Miss Kitty Mudge is marked by great refinement); and Samuel
Collins, whose Lady Frances Radcliffe is shown on p. 185; he was the
master of Humphrey, and enjoyed a great reputation at Bath, which he
took with him to Dublin.

In much the same category as the two foregoing may be placed Samuel
Shelley, though personally I prefer Collins and Nixon, as Shelley's
drawing is often defective, not to speak of other faults, traceable,
no doubt, to his origin and want of training--for he was a self-taught
genius, born in Whitechapel, in 1750. He is said to have founded his
style upon that of Sir Joshua Reynolds; if so, he fell very far short
of his master. He devoted much time also to female subjects, treated
allegorically, such as "Chastity," which was engraved. His book
illustrations are reckoned inferior to his miniatures. Some examples of
his work may be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The number of miniature painters of about the calibre of Shelley
who belong to this period--that is to say, the latter half of the
eighteenth century--is so great that I can, in a chat about miniatures,
only mention a few of them.

The William Derby whose attractive portraits of Lady Elizabeth Hamilton
and the Duchess of Hamilton adorn these pages was a Birmingham man,
probably best known by his drawings for Lodge's "Portraits of
Illustrious Personages." He was assisted by a son, who lived until
1873. The work of the elder was marked by great care and minuteness.
He copied all the family portraits for the Earl of Derby, and was a
frequent exhibitor at the Academy and elsewhere.

The Lady Elizabeth Hamilton, shown on p. 189, was daughter of the sixth
Duke of Hamilton; the Duchess of Hamilton is, of course, Elizabeth
Gunning, Duchess of Hamilton and afterwards of Argyll, one of the two
famous Irish beauties who took the town by storm in "Horry" Walpole's
time, and whose career has been so often narrated.

I also give her sister, Maria Gunning, who became Countess of Coventry,
and died an early victim to cosmetics.

No doubt, it has often occurred to my readers that there ought to be
a British national collection of miniatures. It is a reproach that
none such exists. Miniature painting is a branch of art which has been
flourishing amongst us for three centuries at least, and it has been
carried to great perfection; no country can show more beautiful work of
the kind, and in the number, as well as in the charm, of its miniatures
England is unsurpassed. Yet no attempt has ever been made to procure a
permanent collection. Had such efforts been made, say even a generation
ago, examples might have been obtained at prices vastly below what
would have to be paid in order to acquire them nowadays, and many
precious works might have been secured.

As we all know, the sums realised by fine miniatures, especially of
ladies, and by men like Cosway and his pupils the Plimers, by Smart or
Engleheart, to say nothing of historical works by Hilliard and Samuel
Cooper, are enormous. Such a national collection would be attractive
and instructive in the highest degree--attractive to lovers of art and
history, instructive to students, who could hardly fail to benefit
by the study of such work as might have been, long ere this, brought
together, whilst the miniature painters of our day clearly stand in
need of such artistic training. Finally, let the collector try to
realise what valuable opportunities such a collection would afford
for the comparison of style, for identification, and for instruction
generally in this fascinating subject.

[Illustration: O. HUMPHREY, R.A.


[Illustration: J. SMART.


(_Earl of Powis._)]

[Illustration: J. SMART.


(_Miss Kendall._)]

[Illustration: LORD CLIVE.

(_Earl of Powis._)]

[Illustration: AFTER G. ROMNEY.






Probably there is no one miniature painter whose name is so familiar
to the general reader as that of Richard Cosway, there is no one whose
works in this particular branch of art are more admired, no one more
frequently copied, and, as a consequence, no one whose miniatures or
alleged miniatures are to be found in so many British collections
as "Maccaroni Cosway," as he was called in his day. Maccaroni, you
remember, was a name given to "dandies" about the last quarter of the
eighteenth century.

Sticking a huge feather in his hat, disporting himself in a mulberry
coat with scarlet strawberries, displaying himself at sale-rooms and
other places of public resort--these and such-like doings were delights
to this diminutive, vain, and eccentric artist.

    "Yankee Doodle went to town
      Upon a little pony,
    He stuck a feather in his hat
      And called it Maccaroni."

In his "Lives of Eminent British Painters" Allan Cunningham closes a
long account of Cosway in these words, "His works are less widely
known than they deserve, and his fame is faded." In the light of
the present day, and the annals of the auction-room, that statement
is one which can by no means be admitted. It may, on the contrary,
be safely asserted of Richard Cosway that his fame, whatever it may
have been in the days of Allan Cunningham, so far from fading, has
been steadily increasing, until it has reached a pinnacle of the
highest reputation--that is, if the pecuniary test be applied. But
whilst this is true, it may also be conceded that of late a more just
appreciation of the relative merits of Cosway, as compared with some of
his contemporaries, has been made by the impartial and discriminating
critic; by which I mean it is not so much that Cosway has become less
famous, but that others, such as George Engleheart and John Smart, for
example, have received proper recognition, and all the finest works of
the period are no longer assigned, as a matter of course, to Cosway, as
it may be said was at one time the case.

The eccentricities of Cosway as a man, his diminutive appearance,
and extravagance of attire, made him a conspicuous object wherever
he went. His extravagance of living, his vanity and ostentation,
excited jealousy and ridicule; but, whilst fortune smiled on him, he
could boast of his friendship with the Prince of Wales, and lavishly
entertained the rank and fashion of his day. He was, according to the
gossip of J. T. Smith, in his "Life and Times of Nollekins," "one
of the dirtiest of boys." This amusing but sometimes ill-natured
writer says that Cosway was employed as a waiter to the students
at Shipley's well-known drawing school, and used to take in the tea
and coffee for them. Inasmuch as his father was Master of Blundell's
School, Tiverton, it seems improbable that the young Cosway would have
been placed in such a menial position at Shipley's. That he was a
student there we know, as he was also in the studio of Thomas Hudson,
a mediocre artist, best known as the master of Sir Joshua Reynolds,
and, like the President of the Royal Academy and Cosway himself, also a
Devonshire man.

[Illustration: G. ENGLEHEART.


(_Col. W. H. Walker._)]


(_M. Viennot._)]

Cosway must have come to London when of very tender years; for in
1755, being then only thirteen years old, he won a premium of fifteen
guineas of the then newly constituted Society of Arts, for the best
drawing of any kind by boys and girls under fourteen, and this promise
of early success was followed by his being elected Associate of the
Royal Academy when only twenty-nine, and full member two years later.
The hard work that he went through in his early training, joined, no
doubt, to what must have been natural facility of execution, gave him
astonishing rapidity in his work, as to which Cunningham has observed:
"He often finished miniatures at three sittings of half an hour each,
and when he sat down to dinner would boast that he had despatched
during the day twelve or fourteen sitters."

If this boast be even approximately true, he must indeed have been a
prolific artist, and his annual production of miniatures be reckoned by
the thousand. That there must be a vast number extant we may safely
conclude when we remember the facility to which we have just referred,
and the fact that his earliest contributions to the Academy were made
when he was only twenty-six, and that he worked until half a century
later, for he was eighty when he died.

But if, then, the existence must be allowed of an enormous number of
miniatures by Cosway, to say nothing of those by his wife, of whom
I shall speak later, what shall I say of the countless forgeries of
this the most popular of all English miniature painters? What was
the case in his day I do not know, but I am sure that there must be
a never-ending host of copyists at work now, who devote themselves
particularly to imitating the works of Cosway and his contemporaries.
And here I cannot refrain from telling a little story _apropos_ of what
happens to these copies. It was told me by an artist who was present
at an auction in certain well-known sale-rooms with a friend. By and
by some so-called Cosways were put up and fetched very high prices,
whereat the acquaintance expressed great satisfaction to my artist
friend, and, in a burst of confidence said, "You know, I painted them

Well-known historical characters, such as the Pompadour, Madame Du
Barry, Marie Antoinette, the First Napoleon, the Empress Josephine,
Madame Vigée le Brun, and the rest, whose name is legion, these are the
favourite subjects of the copyist.

The late Dr. Propert, who owned a large collection himself, of by no
means uniform quality, speaks feelingly on this subject. He says: "I
am sorry to say that the French hold an unenviable pre-eminence for
the production of spurious enamels and miniatures. It is really of
some danger to attempt a collection of French specimens; many at once,
no doubt, display the cloven hoof clearly enough to warn off even a
novice, but I have seen some which would puzzle an expert. If any
of these enterprising gentry get hold of a really old miniature, it
matters not how time or exposure to light may have wrecked the once
beautiful tints, the merest ghost suffices them; they will restore and
paint it all over again with a subdued palette, and, like new wine
artificially aged by the arts of the chemist, it presents itself in a
guise which will take no denial."

This subject is one of very great importance to the collector, upon
whose credulity the forgers appear to be able to reckon to any extent,
and it is really remarkable the way in which people, who should know
better, will bring out from their cabinets works to which they do not
hesitate to attach some of the most eminent names to be found in the
annals of the art of miniature painting. If only they have picked them
up _themselves_, that appears to be one of the chief recommendations
and guarantees of authenticity. It is the delight in a bargain, or
what they are pleased to think is a bargain, that appears to have such
a fascination for generation after generation of collectors. That
this evil--for as such I regard it--is ever on the increase may be
concluded from the fact of the increasing number of bric-à-brac shops
in which one sees these forgeries displayed. I do not know what their
owners say about these so-called old miniatures, and I do not wish
necessarily to cast any stigma upon the vendors. I might go farther,
and say that very often it seems as if the purchasers did not want
to know the truth about these works. They like to think that their
own astuteness and sound judgment, their sharp eye and keen nose for
a bargain have enabled them to "pick up" (that is their favourite
word) these treasures, upon such favourable terms, and to enrich their
collection with gems which, unaccountable as it may seem, have quite
escaped the notice of the general public and of the common or ordinary

Talking of collections, it may be observed that Cosway himself was a
great collector. His house, No. 1, Stratford Place, was full of costly
works of art, of silks, china, and gems of bijouterie and vertu, in
which he trafficked and dealt, and his wife, Maria, fully shared the
painter's taste. I may here say something about this lady, who was in
many ways a remarkable woman.

She was the daughter of an Irishman named Hadfield, who was an
innkeeper at Leghorn. Maria was born in Florence, in 1759, and lived
to be nearly as old as her husband. After studying art in Rome, she
came to England, where she took up miniature painting as a profession.
Her first contributions to the Royal Academy were in 1781, in which
year Cosway married her, she being then twenty-two, of a blonde type
of beauty, with soft blue eyes. She practised art in various forms.
At Hardwicke, in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire, there is
a really fine picture painted by her of the beautiful duchess as
Cynthia, full length, in oils, life size. Allan Cunningham observed of
this picture that when it was exhibited there was no little stir. The
likeness was excellent, and its poetic feeling not unworthy of the poet
(Spenser) whose work inspired it. At Longford Castle the Earl of Radnor
has a full length, also in oils, of a lady of the family.

[Illustration: W. WOOD.


[Illustration: UNKNOWN.


(_J. G. Fanshawe, Esq._)]

As to her miniatures, Cunningham says: "Almost the first time she was
seen in public she was pointed out as the lady who had painted some of
the most lovely miniatures in the Royal Academy," and he adds, "her
reputation was made at once, for nothing was talked about but the great
youth and the great talent of Mrs. Cosway. One half of the carriages
that stopped at her husband's door contained sitters ambitious of the
honours of her pencil." He says that the painter was too proud a man to
permit his wife to paint professionally. But inexorable though he was
in regard to painting, "he was more gentle in the matter of music, of
which Maria was passionately fond, and he had a handsome house and good
income and allowed her to indulge in those splendid nuisances called
evening parties."

With a character so full of vanity and weakness as Cosway's was in
some respects, it is not surprising to learn that, after twenty years
of married life, incompatibility of temperament, as the phrase goes,
developed between this ill-assorted pair, and at the beginning of the
last century Mrs. Cosway was separated from her husband. In 1804 she
retired to a religious house at Lyons, Cunningham says "owing to the
death of her daughter." She was in London as late as 1821-2 selling
her deceased husband's property, old miniatures and so forth, for
Cosway had died whilst taking the air in 1821. Her final visit to
England was in 1829, on a similar errand. She then retired to Italy,
and founded a college at Lodi, near Milan, which grew into a religious
house in connection with the order known as the Institute of the
Blessed Virgin Mary, and here she died, in 1838.

She was known as the Baroness in Italy, the Emperor Francis of Austria
having granted her a title. There is no doubt that Maria Cosway was
a versatile and amiable woman and an artist of considerable ability.
Although at one time separated from her husband, she nursed him in his
declining years.

As to his character, Andrew Robertson, the miniature painter, although
he terms him "the vainest creature in the world," says, "To me he
behaved in the most liberal way"; and we have the valuable testimony
of Ozias Humphrey, who was a rival miniature painter, that he was "the
kindliest of friends." Another contemporary, William Hazlitt, says he
was "bright and joyous." His pupil Andrew Plimer speaks of him as "my
beloved master"; and, finally, we have the testimony of his wife, that
he was "_toujours gai_."

Before leaving Cosway a few remarks may be offered upon his technique.

One of the first characteristics of his style is what has been termed
a certain hothouse lusciousness. Although the bulk of his work
consisted of portraits from life, whether it was that he did not
attempt to make likeness a strong feature, or whether he could not
help exaggerating the delicacy of his sitters' complexions, the size
of their eyes, and giving them an air of artificiality, or whether it
was the extreme rapidity of his method (he used, as we saw, to boast
of having painted several portraits in a day)--whether it be to one or
all of these reasons that we must attribute the style of Cosway, there
it is, and so marked is it that, generally speaking and in the case
of fine examples, at any rate, one cannot mistake it. The treatment
of the hair is marked by breadth and peculiar freedom of handling,
the backgrounds are commonly, but not always, an ultramarine blue
(especially his early ones). The foregoing remarks apply to Cosway's
miniatures upon ivory, but, as is well known, he by no means confined
himself to those. Some of his most pleasing work took the form of
full-length figures drawn in pencil with a very slight background, the
draperies lightly drawn, but the face carefully finished, of which the
George IV., given on p. 203, is a fine example. He also painted in oils.

[Illustration: SIR W. C. ROSS, R.A.



Amongst the many surprising vicissitudes of the auction-room, the
enhancement in value of the works of two of Cosway's pupils may here be
mentioned. I refer to the prices that have been paid within the past
few years for works by the brothers Andrew and Nathaniel Plimer (or
Plymer, as the name is sometimes spelled). That the miniatures of these
men, of whom Andrew was much the better artist, are pleasing--indeed,
have something of the charm of Cosway--cannot be denied, but they are
less well-drawn than his, the eyes, particularly, being exaggerated
in size; the execution of the hair is certainly inferior to Cosway's,
being stiff and wiry. In spite of this inferiority--which, I think, is
apparent upon a careful comparison--miniatures which, a few years ago,
could be bought for a few pounds now fetch as many hundreds. Despite
some early struggles, I do not know that there is very much that need
be said about these painters, beyond this posthumous rise in the value
of their works. Redgrave, in his "Century of Painters," does not even
mention them. In his "Dictionary of Artists" less than twenty lines are
devoted to them.

The Plimers were born at Wellington, in Shropshire, where their father
was a clockmaker, Nathaniel in 1757, Andrew, the younger, six years
later. The elder brother exhibited at the Academy from 1787 to 1815,
and died in 1822. Andrew contributed from 1786 to 1810 and again in

He died at Brighton, in 1837, aged seventy-four. In the obituary of the
_Gentleman's Magazine_ he is described as being, many years ago, an
eminent miniature painter in Exeter.

A charming portrait of him by Geddes now hangs in the Scottish National

There is a well-known group of three young girls, daughters of Sir
John Rushout, sometimes called the Three Graces, on which much of
Andrew Plimer's fame may be said to rest. It was sold with a lot of
worthless odds-and-ends at a sale at Marlow Place, Great Marlow; the
bidding began at half a crown, and left off at £315. The miniature
was purchased, with others, from Mr. E. Joseph's collection for a very
large sum, and has now gone, I believe, to New York.


The mention of the enhancement of price which has been of late years
witnessed in the case of eighteenth-century miniatures instinctively
recalls the name of John Smart, who was born at Norwich in the same
year as Cosway was born at Tiverton, namely, 1740. He must have been
precocious, for he gained the Society of Arts premium when only
fifteen. It was as a student at Shipley's, no doubt, that he made the
acquaintance of Richard Cosway, and they became friends, the latter
artist terming Smart, in letters, "little John," "faithful John," and
so forth.

Smart became a fashionable miniaturist of his day, and, like Humphrey,
went to India, where he remained five years. His son John followed his
example in 1808, but died in India the following year. The portraits
of Lord and Lady Clive given in this volume, belonging to the Earl of
Powis, are probably due to Smart's visit to the East. His work in India
may be identified by the letter "I" which is attached to his signature.
He was a large contributor to the Exhibition of the Incorporated
Society of Artists, of which he was made Vice-president.

I may remark, in passing, that an excellent, but little-known painter
and somewhat eccentric character, namely, George Chinnery, R.A., also
spent a great deal of time in the East Indies, where he practised his
art for nearly fifty years, dying at Macao. There is a portrait of him
in the National Portrait Gallery, painted by himself.

It would be difficult to over-praise the truth and beauty of Smart's
work, although Cosway termed him "slow, and a bit washy." The last
epithet sounds almost ludicrous to those who are familiar with
Smart's manner of painting, which is finished almost to excess,
and often resembles an enamel in appearance. Indeed, I possess a
fair-complexioned man's head by him which might at first sight be
taken for an enamel, so smooth is it in execution. But the absolute
truth of the flesh-tints, scrupulous accuracy of the drawing of the
features, and the harmonious beauty of the whole, make it a work of the
highest art in its way, placing the artist in the very front rank of
miniaturists. Moreover, these qualities distinguish all Smart's best
work, and stamp him, in my opinion, as a greater artist than Cosway.


By the "cognoscenti," doubtless, the merit of Ozias Humphrey is
recognised, but I think it may be safely said that by the general
public his ability is certainly not estimated at its true value. Merit
is, in fact, an inadequate term for the admirable draughtsmanship
and beautiful colour of this true artist. The refinement, the
self-restraint and sobriety of his work, the unobtrusive, careful,
thorough finish, are perhaps those qualities most likely to escape the
casual observer. For my own part I incline to place him in the front
rank of English miniature painters, and amongst the very finest of them
all. He may not have the luscious sweetness of Cosway at his best,
but he is more uniformly excellent. His technique is far superior to
the over-rated Plimer and is free from the mannerism and enamel-like
smoothness of Smart.

[Illustration: A. ROBERTSON.


[Illustration: SIR W. C. ROSS, R. A.


Humphrey worked in India for rather less than three years--from 1785
to 1788; but ill-health forced him to return to England. In the
British Museum is preserved a note-book containing memoranda by him
and a few sketches; amongst other interesting entries by his own hand
are particulars of portraits which he executed for Indian princes
and Anglo-Indians. These show the prices he obtained. Thus, for the
Governor-General he obtained 1,000 rupees; for Mrs. Sturt, 700; for
Mrs. Hewitt, 1,000; for Miss Blair and Mrs. Keighley, 532 each; 1,000
for a whole length of Mrs. Trevor. In 1786 he was owed 6,600 rupees by
native princes.

Ozias Humphrey was born at Honiton, in 1742. Probably his West Country
origin had something to do with Sir Joshua Reynolds's friendship for
him, and it was by the President's advice that he studied in the St.
Martin's Lane School. After two years in London he returned home, owing
to the death of his father. He then was placed under Samuel Collins,
the miniature painter, at Bath, and lodged with Lindley, the musician.

Here, as a child, the future Mrs. Sheridan, the lovely original of Sir
Joshua's Saint Cecilia,

    "With looks commercing with the skies,
    Her rapt soul sitting in her eyes,"

was wont to sing to Humphrey. Pecuniary difficulties drove Collins
from Bath, and he established himself in Dublin, whereupon the young
Humphrey, who was then but twenty-two, returned to London and settled
in King Street, Covent Garden, not far from his patron, Sir Joshua

A purchase by George III. from an exhibition in Spring Gardens, two
years later, was probably the commencement of Humphrey's success, and
led to the King commissioning him to paint his Consort and members
of the Royal Family. At Windsor, by the way, are three notable and
beautiful miniatures by him of Queen Charlotte, all after Gainsborough,
two of them representing her as quite young and not a little
attractive. In one of them the likeness to an eminent living member of
the Royal Family is very marked.

Doubtless Humphrey had ambition as an artist, and, accompanied by
George Romney, he went to Italy in 1773, as all who could afford it did
in those days.

Cumberland, the dramatist, celebrated the event by some indifferent
verses; of the miniature painter he says:

    "Crown'd with fresh roses, graceful Humphrey stands,
    While beauty grows immortal from his hands."

Romney returned sooner than Humphrey; a coolness sprang up between
them, as to which Allan Cunningham makes Humphrey to blame, and rather
ill-naturedly remarks that he was "a gossip and an idler." The same
critic has observed that he, Humphrey, used to call and read the
newspaper to Sir Joshua Reynolds, when, in his declining days, the
great painter's eyesight failed--a misfortune destined to overtake the
miniaturist himself a few years later.

[Illustration: R. DUDMAN.


[Illustration: MILLICENT AMBER.

_His wife._]

After a four years' sojourn in Italy Humphrey returned to London and
essayed oil-painting, exhibiting whole-lengths in the Academy, but
without much success. Miniature painting was his forte, especially also
the copying of other men's work in small, and at Knole may be seen many
works of this nature.


Some ten or twelve years later than the three eminent miniature
painters we have been discussing was born George Engleheart, whose
best work may often be placed almost on a level with theirs, but not
always. He frequently exaggerates the eyes in his ladies' portraits,
and his colour is often not agreeable, the flesh tints in his men's
pictures being especially sallow. Engleheart, who lived at Kew, was of
Silesian origin; he was a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds, and when only
thirty-eight was made miniature painter to King George III., with whom
he was a favourite. His fee book discloses that he must have painted
nearly 5,000 miniatures, as he painted assiduously between 1775 and
1813, in some years finishing more than 200 per annum. He contributed
to the Academy for nearly forty years.

For fidelity of likeness and sound workmanship I should incline to give
preference to the male portraits of Engleheart, of which the example
shown on p. 233 is a fair specimen.

Five thousand miniatures by one artist alone, of the fair women and
brave men of his day, and how many of them are to be seen in our
national collections?

At Hertford House, a solitary one, an unknown lady in a white
head-dress; in the National Portrait Gallery, not one; at Kensington,
three or four, and those not of superlative quality by any means, the
excessive size of the head compared with the figure being a marked
defect in two of them.


Mrs. Cobden Unwin enables me to reproduce in this volume three
miniatures of the Cobden family. The father of Richard Cobden, the
statesman, was William Cobden, of Dunford, Heyshott, Midhurst, Sussex.
He was born at Dunford on September 30, 1775, and died at Droxford,
Bishop's Waltham, Hants, on June 15, 1833. The miniature of him here
reproduced is by W. Dudman. Dudman was a contributor to the Royal
Academy of 1797, and it is possible that this miniature was his sole
contribution, since it bears an inscription on the back in Latin to
the effect that it was "out of the Royal Academy." Now, inasmuch as he
exhibited but once, and that occasion was the same year as the date of
the inscription I have just quoted, it seems to demonstrate that this
was the identical miniature shown that year, although the name is not
given in the catalogue.

William Cobden married Millicent Amber, whose portrait in her
wedding dress is also here given. The painter of this is unknown, but
the picture is very probably the work of Dudman, the two miniatures
being much alike in colouring and treatment. Mrs. Cobden predeceased
her husband by some eight years, dying at West Meon in Hampshire in
1825, aged 49.

[Illustration: UNKNOWN.


Son of Richard Cobden.]

The other member of the Cobden family whose portrait is given here
is Richard Brooks Cobden, the son of the statesman. He was born
at Manchester in 1841, the year his father was elected member for
Stockport, in the very midst of the Anti-Corn-Law League agitation.
He was sent to school on the Continent, and died at Weinheim, near
Heidelberg, on April 6, 1856, thus being cut off on the threshold
of life. The miniature here shown represents him when considerably
younger, and I am unable to give the artist's name.





Andrew Robertson, his pupil Sir William Ross, Hayter, William Newton,
and Robert Thorburn may be said to form a group of Victorian miniature
painters, the last survivors of "the old guard," and men who mark a
definite break in the practice of the art, for they painted down to the
arrival of the enemy, namely photography.

This was a very momentous event in the history of miniature painting,
and, at one time, seemed destined to put an end to the practice of
the art entirely, leading Sir William Ross to say, "It is all up
with miniature painting" and Thorburn to abandon the art altogether.
For years after the _carte de visite_ was introduced the number of
miniature painters grew smaller and smaller, as did their contributions
to the Academy.

Of the four above-named men, Robertson may first be dealt with.
Andrew Robertson was a self-taught man, born at Aberdeen, in 1777.
Besides being an artist, he was a first-rate violinist, and so ardent
a musician that he was director of concerts in his native town at
sixteen years of age. His energetic temperament led him to walk to
London to see the exhibition of the Royal Academy, in 1801. Arrived
in the metropolis, he was so fortunate as to attract the notice of
Benjamin West, President of the Academy, who induced the young Scottish
artist to remain in London, and sat to him for his portrait.

West's influence at Court at that time was great; it led to Royal
patronage being extended to Robertson, who was made miniature painter
to the Duke of Sussex. His reputation was now assured, and soon he
obtained many pupils, of whom Sir William Ross was one. In 1841,
after a career in London of forty years, he retired, when he was
presented with a piece of plate, as "father of the profession." He
died at Hampstead four years later. He was an actively charitable and
industrious man. Those who wish to trace his career in more detail may
do so in the pages of the "Letters and Papers of Andrew Robertson,"
published by his daughter, Miss Robertson, in 1895.

As to the works of this artist I do not count myself a great admirer
of them, finding his colour rather crude, almost disagreeable. There
is, however, a certain rugged force and honesty about his portraiture
which perhaps compensate for the lack of charm and refinement. Mr.
Jeffery Whitehead possesses (or did possess) a large collection of his
works, many of which were shown at one of Messrs. Dickinson's loan
exhibitions of miniatures some years ago. Miss Robertson, the writer
to whom I have just referred has observed that "it is not generally
known that at the close of the eighteenth century the multitude of
inferior miniatures, and the failing powers or retirement of the
eminent men [then] living threatened the extinction of this branch of
arts. The small oval miniature developed into the cabinet picture,
which culminated in the works of Hayter, Newton, and Thorburn and the
delicate and beautiful works of Ross, my father's pupil from the age of
fourteen and his dear friend through life."

[Illustration: JANET.


(_H.M. the King._)]

As this present work is neither a history of miniature painting nor a
dictionary of artists, I need not attempt to enumerate the numerous
inferior miniature painters to whom reference is made in the above
extract; but I may say a few words about some men who belong to this
period, and whose names and works are often met with by the collector.
Earliest amongst these was William Wood, a Suffolk man, born 1760. His
work is distinguished at any rate by harmony of colour and correct
drawing. He was President of the short-lived Society of Associated
Artists and exhibited at the Academy for twenty years (from 1788 to the
year of his death), contributing over a hundred portraits. I should
place Thomas Hargreaves, born at Liverpool, in 1775, in much the same
category as Wood. His father was a woollen draper, who articled his
son as an assistant to Sir Thomas Lawrence. Hargreaves's work bears
the impress of that master's style. He painted W. E. Gladstone and his
sister as children.

Then Henry Edridge, who was born in 1769, and lived to see George IV.
on the throne, should not be overlooked. His early works are on ivory,
but he is best known by his spirited and refined drawings on paper,
the figures in which are slightly touched in, whilst the heads are
carefully finished; good examples of them may be seen at the Victoria
and Albert Museum. He became an Associate of the Academy, and his
advancement in life is said to have been due to the influence of Sir
Joshua Reynolds, who allowed him to copy his paintings in miniature;
but the drawings by Edridge to which I have just made reference do not
show the influence of Sir Joshua. He died in 1821, from grief at the
loss of a favourite daughter, aged seventeen, and an only son.

Between the years 1786 and 1821 there were no less than 260 examples of
Edridge's work shown on the walls of the Academy.

John Downman was a contemporary of the foregoing and also a
fellow-associate of the Academy; but his portraits, though delicate and
minute, hardly come under the definition of miniatures. John Linnell,
the landscape artist, was a miniature painter at the outset of his
career, as was Sir Henry Raeburn.

Mrs. Mee, born Anne Foldsome, is a lady miniaturist who is fully
represented in the Royal Collection at Windsor, having been patronised
by George IV. when Prince of Wales. I do not like her work, but all
credit must be given to her for her exertions to support a widowed
mother and eight brothers and sisters.

[Illustration: S. COOPER.


(_H.M. the King._)]

Alfred Edward Chalon (not to be confounded with H. B. Chalon the animal
painter, nor with John James Chalon, R.A.) besides being a witty and
popular man, was a thorough artist, as his spirited full-lengths,
dashed in with great freedom, attest, his treatment of draperies being
particularly skilful. He came of an old French family, and was born at
Geneva, in 1817. He was made water-colour painter to Queen Victoria,
and elected a full member of the Academy, to the exhibitions of which
he contributed no less than 400 works.

And now, by way of concluding my remarks on English miniature painters,
I turn to the group of men to which Miss Robertson refers, and the
particular style of work they introduced; for they were, she alleges,
the originators of the cabinet pictures in vogue at the beginning of
the nineteenth century and in the early Victorian days. Miss Robertson
does not make it clear to which Hayter she refers (for there were two,
father and son, to whom her remarks might perhaps apply). I conclude
she means Charles Hayter, who exhibited for nearly half a century; his
last contribution was in 1832. In spite of his writings on perspective,
and the alleged correctness of his likenesses, Hayter's work is feeble
and uninteresting.

Sir William Newton is an artist about whom opinions differ, the late
Dr. Propert, for example, hardly having a good word to say for him.
In his own day, however, Newton, who was the son of an engraver, and
descended from a brother of Sir Isaac, was a thoroughly successful
man. He was made miniature painter-in-ordinary to William IV., whom
he painted a dozen times or more. He was knighted on the accession of
Queen Victoria, in 1837, and was the first person who received that
distinction in the new reign. Sir William became a well-known figure
in London society, and took a leading position in the musical world.
For fifty years he contributed nearly the whole number of works allowed
to Academicians. At one time membership of the Academy was not open
to miniature painters; after a long struggle Sir William obtained a
withdrawal of the restriction, although he would not allow his own name
to be brought forward for the honour. He lived to be eighty-four, dying
in 1869.

In Robert Thorburn, A.R.A., we have an instance of a rapid rise. Born
at Dumfries, in 1818, he had painted the Queen, the Prince Consort, and
two of the Royal children by the time he was thirty years of age. His
successful career as a miniature painter was cut short by the advent of
photography, but not before he had painted many of the aristocracy.[4]

[Footnote 4: In my larger works on miniature painting I have given
lists of his sitters, compiled from information kindly afforded by Mrs.

The change was so great that he abandoned the practice of his earlier
art, and took to painting portraits in oils, but with less success.
He died at Tunbridge, in 1885. In spite of a certain monotony in his
flesh painting, I greatly admire his miniatures, which are marked by
refinement, whilst the composition is graceful and sometimes dignified.
His work was appreciated in Paris, where he was awarded a gold medal
in 1855.

[Illustration: QUEEN CHARLOTTE.

(_H.M. the King._)]

[Illustration: JAMES II.

(_H.M. the King._)]

Like Sir William Newton and Sir William Ross (to whom I shall refer
presently), Thorburn used large surfaces of ivory for his portraits,
or cabinet pictures as Miss Robertson terms them: this was managed by
taking the circumference of a trunk of ivory, making it flat by great
pressure, laying it down on a panel and adding strips on the top,
bottom, and sides. Thus pictures of considerable size with elaborate
backgrounds could be painted and correspondingly high prices obtained.

I now come to a distinguished and excellent man who rounds off a period
in the art we have under discussion.

Sir William Charles Ross was the last of the old school of miniature
painters. Of Scottish origin, he was born in London, in 1794. Both his
father and mother were portrait painters, the former being gardener to
the Duke of Marlborough.

Young William Ross made an early start in life, for, according to Miss
Robertson, he became a pupil of her father's when he (Ross) was only
fourteen. In 1809, when he was but fifteen, he contributed three works
to the Academy and had already won medals at the Society of Arts and in
the Academy Schools.

Queen Victoria sat to him in 1837, and he painted the whole of the
Royal Family of his day as well as the Kings and Queens of Belgium and
Portugal, &c. His miniatures are said to have exceeded two thousand
in number. After his death, in 1860, an exhibition of his works was
opened at the Society of Arts; the catalogue (which I have printed
elsewhere) is likely to be of much interest in the future, and shows
most clearly the commanding position Ross occupied in his profession.
He painted Miss Angela Burdett-Coutts (as she then was) in 1846; it is
here shown, and must be reckoned one of his finest works. The Baroness
owned several other important examples of Sir William. At Windsor there
are a great many, and in the exhibition to which I have just referred
Queen Victoria is given as the owner of over forty pieces.

In judging of the artistic value of Ross we must remember that he had
to contend with the difficulties imposed by a thoroughly tasteless
style of costume, according to present standards. The period covered by
his work coincides with that of the very lowest depth of Philistinism
in art, costume, and architecture which our annals disclose.

His colour was too florid to suit some tastes, his palette being set
somewhat _à la_ Rubens, but his flesh-tints are fresh and delightful,
and when time has mellowed them will probably be reckoned of great
beauty. His composition, draperies, background, and accessories were
treated with much skill. He had a brother, Hugh, who was also a
miniature painter of ability.

[Illustration: R. COSWAY, R.A.


(_H.M. the King._)]





As in works by the old masters, so also this country is extremely rich
in old miniatures. I am speaking now of private collections. Of course,
by the very nature of the case, the majority of these are comparatively
inaccessible, not that their owners are illiberal in furnishing a
sight of their treasures to those who are interested, and can furnish
reasonable credentials for admission to a sight of them, but these
miniatures are scattered all over the land, and to see them demands
time, trouble, and expense. In the restricted space at my command in
this book it is futile to attempt to describe with fulness all the
riches of those private collections which I have been privileged to

There are, however, a few collections of such paramount importance in
connection with our subject that they cannot be passed by, and every
one claiming to feel an intelligent interest in the subject of old
miniatures must wish to know something, at any rate, of the nature and
the extent of these private collections to which I have just referred.


Let us take first the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, which
comprises some thousand examples, many remarkable for their intrinsic
beauty as well as their historic interest. Perhaps I ought to have put
the latter first, as being the principal source of interest belonging
to them. But that would be to look at them too much with the eye of the
historical student. Were they all portraits of comparative nobodies, or
even unknown persons, they would yet be a most delightful, varied, and
fascinating collection. As Sir Richard Holmes, the ex-royal-librarian,
who has written about them from time to time, has pointed out, the
collection has one peculiar interest, namely that "in nearly every case
these miniatures remain in the custody of the descendants of those for
whom they were originally painted, and thus present an almost unbroken
series of authentic portraits of the Royal Family from the time of
Henry VIII. to the present day."

The fact that this unique collection goes back, as the reader has just
been reminded, to Tudor days, leads us to expect that we may find some
work by Holbein, perhaps the greatest name in all the annals of the
art. Nor shall we be disappointed. Six examples there are by the great
Hans, among them Katherine Howard, and the two sons of Charles Brandon,
Duke of Suffolk, portraits possessing a pathetic interest, seeing that
the originals both died on the same day from the sweating sickness.
That was in 1551. Mr. Ralph Wornum's description of them may be worth





(_H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany._)]

[Illustration: PETITOT.


[Illustration: FROM AN ENAMEL BY H. BONE.


(_Burdett-Coutts Collection._)]

"Henry Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, in a black cap with white feather,
and a black coat with green sleeves, blond hair cropped all round;
he is leaning his left arm on a table, on which is written, '_Etatis
svæ 5, 6 sepdem, Anno 1535_.' Blue ground painted on the back of the
ace or three of clubs. The other is his brother Charles Brandon,
Duke of Suffolk, in a grey and red coat with black cuffs; his shirt
collar is embroidered with black thread round the outer edge. Blue
ground. On a tablet is inscribed '_Ann 1541, etatis svæ 10 Marci_.'
This is painted on the back of a king. Both are of the same size, one
and eleven-twelfths of an inch in diameter. They are said to have
been given to Charles I. by Sir Henry Vane, and both are entered as
Holbein's work in Van der Doort's catalogue. They are freely, firmly,
and yet elaborately executed.

"There are two of Henry VIII., one with a beard, in a black cap and
black ribbonds about his neck, in an ash-coloured tissue suit in a fur
cloak, his name and age in golden letters written on it. Being also one
of the number which were given to the King by Lord Suffolk."

This description is a quotation from the catalogue made by Van der
Doort, who was custodian of the pictures to Charles I., and that
monarch is meant by the reference to "the King." The same authority
describes another and lesser picture of Henry VIII.: "Without a beard,
also in a black cap and a little golden chain about his neck, in an
ash-coloured wrought doublet in a furred cloak with crimson sleeves."
Yet another Holbein is the portrait of Lady Audley, daughter of the
Treasurer of the Chamber to Henry, whose portrait in red chalk is
amongst the drawings by Holbein preserved at Windsor. These miniatures
are all circular, and measure from one and three-quarter inches to two
and a quarter inches in diameter.

Holbein's pupil, Nicholas Hilliard, is well represented at Windsor; the
valuable catalogue of Charles I.'s collection which I have quoted above
contains references to fourteen by him, including, says Sir Richard
Holmes, "those of Queen Elizabeth. But these last, unfortunately, are
no longer to be found." It is interesting to compare the renderings of
Henry VIII. which Holbein and Hilliard respectively present. Amongst
the most noteworthy of the Hilliards now at Windsor are four which were
probably painted by Royal command, namely Henry VII., Henry VIII.,
Edward VI., and Jane Seymour. These were originally attached to a
golden jewel, enamelled on one side with a representation of the Battle
of Bosworth Field and the roses of York and Lancaster on the other.
The miniature of Henry VII. must clearly have been painted either from
imagination or from some earlier picture, since it is dated 1509,
whereas Hilliard was not born till 1547. The other portraits, too,
represent the originals when it would have been impossible for Hilliard
to have painted them.

Among the miniatures of King Charles I.'s progenitors which Van der
Doort describes is one which hung with seven others in his own chamber,
and it is one of surpassing interest. He thus describes it: "No 23.
Item. Done upon the right light, the second picture of Queen Mary of
Scotland upon a blew-grounded square card, dressed in her hair, in a
carnation habit laced with small gold lace and a string of pearls about
her neck, in a little plain falling band, she putting upon her second
finger her wedding ring. Supposed to be done by the said Jennet. Length
three inches, breadth two inches." The claim to authenticity which
this portrait thus possesses is obviously very high, and Sir Richard
Holmes asserts "there is no portrait of the unhappy queen which has
so good a pedigree as this." We will not stop to discuss the complex
and difficult question of the true portraiture of Mary Queen of Scots.
Having recently published an exhaustive folio devoted to this topic, a
work containing more portraits of Mary, good, bad and doubtful, than
any with which I am acquainted, I may refer the reader to its pages for
the further elucidation of this fascinating problem. I may, however,
mention that the "said Jennet," by whom this portrait is "supposed to
be done," was of course the well-known Janet, otherwise called François
Clouet, Court painter in France at the time of Queen Mary's betrothal
to the Dauphin, whose portrait, by the same artist and from the Royal
Collection, I am able to show.

Clouet was one of a family of limners whose work was the best of the
day, and his drawings should be seen and studied by all who wish to
realise how admirable that work was in expression and character.
It is to be seen to the best advantage in the Print Department of
the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and also in the large series now
preserved in the Palace of Chantilly, the ancestral home of the Condés.

By Hilliard I do not recall anything else very remarkable at Windsor,
unless a small circular picture of a girl wearing the roses of York and
Lancaster in her hair, which came from the Sackville Bale Collection
and is said to represent Lady Jane Grey, is his work. But in the works
of the Olivers, both father and son, the Royal Collection is rich.
Among portraits by Isaac Oliver there is the extremely interesting and
elaborate miniature, before referred to, representing Sir Philip Sidney
seated under a tree, presumably at his birthplace, Penshurst, with a
background of the formal Italian garden then so much in vogue (see p.
295). As this famous scholar, statesman, and soldier died in 1586,
the work must be a comparatively early example of Isaac Oliver, who
would be under thirty years of age at that time. A piece probably much
later is one of no less importance, namely a portrait of Prince Henry
Frederick, eldest son of James I., that "sweet royal bud" and "hope of
the Puritans" who died in 1612. An entry in the catalogue of Van der
Doort is as follows: "Imprimis. Done upon the right light. The biggest
limned picture that was made of Prince Henry, being limned in a set
laced ruff and gilded armour and a landskip, wherein are some soldiers
and tents, in a square frame with a shutting glass over it. Done by
Isaac Oliver. Length five and a quarter inches, breadth four inches."



(_Burdett-Coutts Collection._)]

Worthy to be ranked with these is another large miniature of Charles
II., which is even more highly finished than the two masterpieces,
viz., Monck and Monmouth, which I described in Chapter VII.--that is
to say, it is more finished throughout, because painting--in the head
only was a characteristic of Samuel Cooper. Probably he found the
painting of the drapery, background, and details somewhat irksome, and
having got the head and the character of the portrait, was often wont
to leave the completion of the picture until a more convenient season.
Be the reason what it may, there is no doubt that several of the
finest things that he ever painted are left in the unfinished state of
which Walpole has complained in his "Anecdotes of Painting." There is,
however, another miniature in the Royal Collection by this great artist
which may be appropriately mentioned here, and that is a portrait of
the man who sent the unfortunate "Mr. Crofts" to the scaffold. The
cold, implacable nature of James II. is admirably and most forcefully
suggested in this superb miniature. It represents him in armour when
he was probably Duke of York, and may have been painted after his
return from fighting the Dutch off the Texel. But the riches of this
collection, numbering as it does not less than a thousand examples, are
such that we must pass on.

For several decades following the death of Cooper there was
comparatively little native-born miniature art of first-rate importance
produced in this country, but about the middle of the eighteenth
century a "bright particular star" appeared on the horizon in the
person of Richard Cosway, and in the works of this eccentric but highly
talented miniature painter the Royal Collection is rich. The portrait
of the celebrated Duchess of Devonshire, which will be recognised as
an extremely characteristic example of the master, is one of the most
beautiful things in its way in the Royal Library, and is here given.
As I have devoted a chapter to the works of Cosway, I need not dwell
further upon the examples by him at Windsor.

There is a good deal of work by another artist, a contemporary of
Cosway, namely, Ozias Humphrey, to be seen here. Humphrey's style of
painting is far less showy than Cosway's, but it has a completeness,
a perfection of finish, repose, and beautiful colour, qualities which
combine to give his art great and, to my mind, permanent charm. A good
illustration of this may, I think, be found in his rendering of the
somewhat homely charms of Queen Charlotte, here given.

In so large a collection, brought together, I believe, through the
initiative of the late Prince Consort, and gathered into a whole from
all the royal palaces, there are, of course, works by artists too
numerous to mention here. But reference should be made to the large
number of examples of Sir William Ross. The Crown possesses at least
fifty works by him, many of large size, as was the fashion of his day.
In the year 1860, Queen Victoria owned over forty examples, which
comprised the English Royal Family and Queen Adelaide, besides the
Queen of the Belgians, the King and Queen of Portugal, Louis Philippe,
and other foreign royalties, for Ross was the most fashionable portrait
painter of his day.


Rivalling, in general interest, the Royal Collection at Windsor is
that formed by the Duke of Buccleuch, now preserved at Montagu House,
in Whitehall. Those who have been privileged to visit this collection,
or who may remember it when it was shown in the rooms of the Royal
Academy at the Winter Exhibition in 1879, must admit its extraordinary
value, interest, and importance, alike from the artistic and from the
historical point of view. It presents, in fact, a microcosm of English
history, from the middle of Henry VIII.'s reign down to the closing
years of the period of the Restoration. We may see the _vera effigies_
of most of the leading characters of the times which are synchronous
with the work of Holbein down to the death of Samuel Cooper, in 1672.
The present writer well remembers of this exhibition that it left three
very distinct impressions on his mind, the force of which has been but
deepened by further acquaintance with the collection and by the process
of time. From it he first gained some idea of the richness of this
country in historical art of this nature. Secondly, he realised the
high quality, and indeed supreme artistic value, of much of the work
it contained; and, thirdly, the vivid illustration it furnished of the
history of the times contemporary with the artists represented.

These considerations lead him to regard old miniatures as valuable
adjuncts to historical research, and as worthy of careful and serious

In the catalogue of the exhibition which I have mentioned we find
amongst the contributions of the Duke of Buccleuch some hundred and
fifty pieces by several of the most distinguished miniature painters
this country has produced--for example, some half-dozen Holbeins, a
score of Hilliards, as many Isaac Olivers, and more Coopers; not to
speak of rare men like Bettes, Dixon, and John Hoskins, junr.

Setting aside the Holbeins, which, however, call for special notice
on account of the rarity of the master as a miniature painter, the
works of Samuel Cooper claim pre-eminence; and one of them, namely,
the portrait of Oliver Cromwell, to which I have referred before, is
regarded by some good judges as perhaps the very finest thing that the
great limner has left us of his work. I am indebted to the Duke of
Buccleuch for the information that it was purchased through the agency
of Messrs. Colnaghi, from a descendant of the Protector, namely, a
Mr. Henry Cromwell Frankland, of Chichester, who inherited it through
a daughter of Lady Elizabeth Claypole. A writer in the _Athenæum_ of
September 10, 1898, states that this miniature is one of two of Oliver
Cromwell, which, being painted at Hampton Court, "were snatched from
the artist by the Protector, indignant because he found Cooper making
a copy of the original his Highness had sat for. Lady Falconbridge
[_sic_] inherited one or both of her father's captures, which, in the
course of a divided inheritance, parted company for about a century
and a half, only to be reunited at Montagu House."

[Illustration: ISAAC OLIVER.

SIR PHILIP SIDNEY. (_H.M. the King._)]

There is a very beautiful miniature of this Elizabeth Claypole herself
(she was, it will be remembered, the second and favourite daughter of
Cromwell) in the Buccleuch Collection; and in the same connection may
be mentioned the portrait of John Milton, which I have dealt with in
the chapter upon Cooper.

The beauty and importance of the Coopers should not blind us to the
interest of some of the Hilliards--for instance, the portrait of Alicia
Brandon, the wife of Nicholas Hilliard, and a portrait of Drake, dated
1581, painted probably just after his return from circumnavigating the
world. The great seaman's hair is dark brown, his moustache and beard a
light auburn; he looks manly vigour personified.

I have spoken of Dixon as being a rare painter; there are, however,
at least seven or eight by him in the collection I am now describing.
He is not mentioned by Redgrave, it may be noted in passing; but he
must have stood high in Court favour in his day, seeing that Charles
II., Madame Hughes, Mary Davis, the Duchess of Portsmouth, the Duke of
Monmouth, and Prince Rupert were among his sitters, and their portraits
are to be found in this collection.

I pass on to another private collection also remarkable for the number
and the superb quality of its examples of Samuel Cooper. It is that
of the Duke of Portland. The Welbeck Collection is largely a family
one, and so far as I know was never made as a collection pure and
simple. But it contains, nevertheless, amongst the portraits that I
shall proceed to mention, some of the very finest examples of Cooper
with which I am acquainted. Four of these struck me as especially
noteworthy, namely, Richard, Earl of Arran, John, Earl of Clare, Sir
Freschevile Holles, and Colonel Sidney, afterwards Lord Romney. The
latest of these works is dated 1668, four years before the painter's
death. Cooper attained no greater age than sixty-three, and this may
account for the absence of any discoverable decadence, even in his
latest works.

Another marked feature in this collection, which is a large one, is the
predominance of Laurence Cross and Bernard Lens; but Cosway and his
school are scarcely, if at all, represented.

Another ducal collection, namely that at Belvoir, is important in
respect of the historical miniatures it contains, and not the least
valuable of these are miniatures of Sir Walter Raleigh and his son--he
who was killed in the attack on the Spanish settlement on the Cayenne
River, the story of which, and the beautiful enamel case which
contained them, with its initials of Walter and Elizabeth Raleigh, is
to be found in my book "Miniature Painters, British and Foreign," which
also contains particulars of many private collections, described at
considerable length and illustrated.

The Burdett-Coutts Collection is one of exceptional interest, inasmuch
as it contains some of Horace Walpole's most treasured pieces. It is
especially rich in the work of Peter Oliver, and hardly less so in
that of Petitot _fils_. By the kindness of the late Baroness, this
important collection was shown in the galleries of Messrs. Dickinson,
in New Bond Street, when the group of the Digby family, after Van Dyck,
and the separate miniatures of Sir Kenelm and his handsome wife, all
the work of the younger Oliver, were especially admired; these are all
shown in this volume. The Petitots, as I have said, are remarkable,
and the two examples here given were highly valued by the _dilettante_
owner of Strawberry Hill. Of the Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, as
beautiful as she was ill-fated, he says it is a "very very large and
capital one, exquisitely laboured."

On the back of the James II., which represents him as Duke of York,
Walpole has written with his own hand "a present from the Duke to
his mistress Mrs. Godfrey"; and in his "Anecdotes" he says of this
enamel, "freely painted, though highly finished, and I suppose done in
France." We find ourselves sometimes at variance with Horace Walpole's
judgment, as when, for example, he extols Lady Anne Damer to the skies,
and refuses the rank of a painter to William Hogarth! But as to his
estimate of these two magnificent specimens of Petitot's art there can
be but one opinion, and it is one which coincides with that of their
former owner. Amongst the numerous Petitots in the Jones Collection at
the Victoria and Albert Museum, to which I shall refer again, I can
recall nothing to surpass, if indeed there be anything to equal them;
and it is remarkable what astounding advance has been made in the value
of these works of art, some of which fetch, it is literally true to
say, as many hundreds as they did single pounds only sixty-five years

Those of my readers who are wont to observe the prices realised at
auction nowadays by fine old miniatures may be interested to compare
them with those obtained at the famous Strawberry Hill sale. In my
"Miniature Painters, British and Foreign," I have printed the catalogue
of Horace Walpole's miniatures, and given the prices they realised
and the names of their purchasers. The curious in such matters will
find many interesting notes and illustrations in the pages of this
catalogue; _e.g._, the information given as to the provenance of the
two Petitots just described is gleaned from George Robbin's catalogue,
and I may add, from the same source, that the James II. fetched 75
guineas. It had been bought at the sale of the property of Mrs. Dunch
(who was the daughter of Mrs. Godfrey); it fetched less than the
Henrietta, which realised 125 guineas. We learn that Walpole purchased
it of C. F. Zincke, the distinguished enamel painter, who had it in his
possession for a long while, and "kept it as a study."





The private collections of the United Kingdom, scattered as they
are all over the country, are by the nature of things not readily
accessible to the general reader. But with the public galleries the
case is different; and in London there exist, within half-an-hour's
walk of each other, two very considerable and instructive collections
which may be seen, studied, and compared at leisure. I refer, of
course, to those of Hertford House and the Victoria and Albert Museum
at South Kensington.

And here, in passing, I should like to emphasise the great practical
value of the comparisons which such visits enable us to make. To see,
side by side, miniatures of various periods and by various masters is
more informing than any amount of printed description.

The three hundred miniatures, or thereabouts, which the Wallace
Collection contains, are extremely valuable, not only intrinsically,
but because they present some reliable portraiture of great interest,
and, especially, because they are the only examples of many eminent
miniature painters which are to be found in any public galleries
in this country. As with oil paintings, so with miniatures; this
collection fills _lacunæ_. The National Gallery is remarkably--one
might say unaccountably--deficient in the French School, especially
of the eighteenth century (the nineteenth, as we all know, is hardly
represented at all), whilst the magnificent collection got together
by the third and fourth Marquis of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace,
and now shown at Hertford House, is rich in these masters--so rich as
almost to provoke the envy of our neighbours across the Channel.

It may be well to inform such of my readers as are not familiar with
Hertford House that the miniatures are all to be found in three double
cases in Gallery No. XI. The light, admitted by a side window, is
not over good; this window faces north, and the best time to see the
miniatures is in the morning.

The arrangement, roughly speaking, is as follows:--

In case B are placed miniatures of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and
eighteenth centuries.

In case C, miniatures chiefly of the Napoleonic period and the

In case D, miniatures of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and
a large number of small copies after François Boucher, with similar
work by Charlier and others of the French school of the middle of the
eighteenth century.

Thus, in the Wallace Collection we can study at our leisure a valuable
series of works by several of the best French miniature painters,
some of whom are not to be found represented in any other public
gallery that I am aware of, even in Paris. There is, besides, a
not inconsiderable number of works by good English artists, which
afford instructive means of comparison, besides being interesting in
themselves. Viewing, then, the collection from the various standpoints
which I have enumerated, let us see what it reveals. We may here
dispense with any consideration of the pecuniary value; that is a
commercial view of the subject, one difficult to determine, and foreign
to the object of this book. Suffice it to say that the monetary value
of many of them is very great. Take the Isabeys and Halls, for example;
a miniature by the latter, shown at the Exhibition of Eighteenth
Century Art in Paris in 1906, at the Bibliothèque Nationale, fetched at
the Mülbacher Sale no less than 60,000 francs, or £2,400.

[Illustration: JANET.


(_H.M. the King._)]

[Illustration: CHATILLON.


(_Duke of Wellington._)]

The collection at Hertford House is especially rich in portraits
belonging to the Napoleonic period. Many of the principal personages of
the First Empire may be found in case C. Thus we have Madame Letizia
Ramolino, the mother of Napoleon I.--Madame Mère, as she was called;
two or three portraits of Joséphine, notably one by Isabey in a Court
dress of white and gold; four of Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria
and second wife of the Emperor. There is also one of her father, which
bears on the back this curious inscription, "Madame, disait l'Empereur
Napoléon à l'Impératrice Marie Louise, votre père n'est qu'une
ganache," a term which may be very closely rendered by our English word

There are several portraits of the King of Rome, the son of Napoleon
and Louise, who was living, as one is apt to forget, as late as 1832.
The sisters of the Emperor, Pauline and Caroline, both are here, as are
his brothers Jérome and Louis. Finally, of the Emperor himself there
are over a dozen--as General Bonaparte in 1796; in Academic attire; and
in Court costume, wearing in his hat the golden laurels of victory.
Of this period of his career is the miniature by Isabey, in which
he is wearing the Imperial robes and emblems of victory as before.
This miniature by Isabey is a remarkable presentment of the man and a
masterpiece of the artist. I have described these numerous Napoleonic
portraits in some detail because many of them are not only remarkable
as specimens of French miniature painting of the period, but they also
bear out, I think, what I have said in the preceding pages as to the
value of such works and the instruction they afford.

But the interest of the Wallace Collection of Miniatures is not
confined to the personages who crossed the stage of French history
during the First Empire. Here we may see also Louis XV. and Marie
Leczinska, and two or three of their daughters, Louis XVI. and Marie
Antoinette, Louis XVII. and Louis XVIII. Of the latter there are three
or four portraits; of Madame de Pompadour one of exceptional beauty
(No. 89), signed F. Boucher. It need hardly be said that François
Boucher is not generally recognised as a miniaturist, the breadth and
purely decorative nature of much of his work being as far removed
as it is possible to imagine from the minute finish of a miniature.
This fact, it may be, has led Mr. Claude Phillips, the Curator of the
Gallery, to remark upon this example, and to surmise that it represents
"a wholly exceptional effort made for his (Boucher's) patroness."
Strange to say, Madame Du Barry is unrepresented; on the other hand,
Mlle. Du Thé and La Camargo, the famous dancer, whom Watteau painted,
will be found.

I have given this prominence to the French historical characters as
compared with English or other celebrities since, from this point
of view, there is no comparison to be made between the importance
of the two groups. A Cooper and a Flatman of Charles II., a copy by
Bone (after Lely probably), of Charles's sister-in-law, Anne Hyde; an
enamel by W. Grimaldi, copied from a contemporary portrait of John
Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough; Mrs. Fitzherbert, by R. Cosway;
and two portraits of Wellington by Isabey may be said to sum up the
most notable works coming under the category of English historical

In this connection there remains, however, one miniature of such
importance, if its ascription be correct, as to merit a special
reference. It is No. 93 described as a portrait of Hans Holbein the
Younger. It is inscribed "HH. A N O. 1543 _Etatis suæ_ 45." The Duke
of Buccleuch possesses a similar one, the only variation perceptible
being a subtle difference in the expression, and that in the Montagu
House example there is a little more seen of the painter's left hand.
Each is on a card; that at Hertford House may be thus described: Head
and bust of a man of middle age, in a black dress, open at the neck,
and a black cap. He holds a pencil in his right hand and looks with a
searching and rather sour expression at the spectator. The portrait is
about one and a half inches circular, and has a blue background. The
beard and moustache are dark and somewhat sparse, the flesh-tones flat,
and inclined to brickiness in colour.

But I am disposed to consider the distinguishing feature of the Wallace
Collection of Miniatures to be the number and importance of the works
of Isabey and of Hall shown therein. By Jean Baptiste Isabey there
are no less than twenty-seven examples, by Pierre Adolphe Hall nearly
a score, by the talented J. B. Augustin, and by the comparatively
little known Mansion, nine each; not to speak of Saint, Dumont, and of
Sicardi. There is one specimen which the Curator apparently does not
hesitate to ascribe to Fragonard, whose miniatures he justly says "are
of extreme rarity." Here, then, we have a feast both rich and varied.
Of the Isabeys we shall find that the most important pieces are dated
between 1811 and 1831. They are treated with a breadth and freedom
of handling which make them resemble water-colour sketches, but when
looked at closely they will be found to have careful detail in the
features, and to be miniatures strictly speaking.

The Halls are characteristic and good, the Mansions exceptionally
fine. I have dealt with both these artists in the final chapter of this

[Illustration: ANONYMOUS.


(_M. Gabriel Marceau._)]

[Illustration: P. A. HALL.


(_Mme. de B._)]

It would be impossible to examine here the hundreds of miniatures in
this collection. They deserve the closest attention, and should be
carefully studied with the aid of a magnifying glass.


Having elsewhere in this volume expressed regret at the absence of
any national collection of miniatures in this country, I refrain from
giving utterance to disappointment again. But if there is one place
more than another where such feelings are aroused it is at South
Kensington. True there are miniatures there, but only in sufficient
numbers and, I may say, of sufficient quality, to whet the appetite for

Apart from the Jones Collection, which may be dealt with separately,
the miniatures in the Victoria and Albert Museum are rather
disappointing, and that in spite of a few examples of interest. The
National Collection preserves all its riches of art of this nature in
four cases, which stand in the Sheepshanks Gallery. The catalogue has,
I believe, been out of print for years, certainly there is none now
obtainable, a circumstance very much to be deplored, to say the least
of it. Another matter of regret is that the miniatures cannot be seen
properly by the artificial light with which the galleries are provided;
seeing that the museum is open until ten p.m. three or four nights in
the week, many must feel it tantalising to have no catalogue, and
insufficient and unsatisfactory lighting.

Taking in a rough chronological order what is there shown, we shall
find a faded Queen Elizabeth or two, of the usual type, by Hilliard,
and a fine Oliver of unwonted freshness and brilliancy, due, no doubt,
to its having been preserved in a locket. It is dated 1619, and must
therefore have been painted by Peter Oliver, as his father died two
years earlier. The flesh-tones are particularly good and true to nature.

Of the Samuel Coopers, of which there are two or three examples, that
of Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the brother of Charles II., is the finest
and most noteworthy; it is somewhat faded, but the long, weak face and
melancholy expression, which seem typical of his race, are strikingly
rendered. To about this period belongs a very fine specimen of plumbago
work by David Loggan; it is a portrait of Sir Greville Verney, full
of life as to the character of the head, and of exquisite finish and
delicacy in execution. Near this hang two examples of similar work
by Thomas Forster, but of much inferior quality. They present John,
first Duke of Marlborough and his imperious wife, and are dated 1712.
Richard Cosway is not shown at his best, although the Earl of Carlisle
is a good and characteristic specimen of his somewhat effeminate
rendering of men's portraits. By his pupil, Andrew Plimer, are two very
indifferent portraits of ladies, but another of a young lady (given
by Miss Edmonstone Ashley) is a very charming work; the fair unknown
wears a huge white chin stay, and looks at the spectator with an
arch and vivacious expression. Mrs. Carruthers is a pleasing instance
of J. Meyer's sound and attractive method of painting, and there are
two excellent and characteristic Rosses, viz., Margaret, Duchess of
Somerset and Mrs. Dalton. There is also a very good specimen of Sir W.
J. Newton, an artist whose work is now perhaps somewhat underrated. In
the Plumley Collection of Enamels, shown in the same gallery, are some
examples of Essex which may please lovers of animals, and a number of
Bone's copies, which, skilful as they are, considering the scale on
which they are done and the difficulty in doing them, yet leave a good
deal to be desired when compared with the originals. A word may be
said as to the Barbor jewel which hangs in one of these cases, and is
reproduced in this book. It was made for a Mr. Barbor to commemorate
his deliverance from the stake in the reign of Mary Tudor by the timely
death of that sovereign just at the time fixed for his execution. It
is cut in a fine Oriental onyx, mounted in gold and enamelled, and was
bequeathed to the Museum by the Rev. E. E. Blencowe.


There are four small cases of miniatures pertaining to the Dyce
Collection which contain a few Coopers, and, notably, a portrait of the
artist himself, of which last an illustration is given. The pocket-book
and its contents attributed to Cooper I have already referred to in
Chapter VII. Some of these are thoroughly characteristic; others,
in their smoothness and in the nature of their colouring, are quite
unlike Cooper's ordinary manner; whilst in one instance at least the
drawing is so bad as to make one sceptical of its being the work of
such an artist as Samuel Cooper at all. Take for example the portrait
labelled Miss Pru Fillips (_sic_), or Mrs. Rosse, or Mrs. Priestman. On
the other hand, the preparatory sketches for the Duchess of Cleveland
and Mrs. Munday, and, above all, the Catherine of Braganza strike
one as being not only the work of the master but also as especially
characteristic. There is a very good Flatman in this collection, a
portrait of himself; there are also a number of miniatures in oil on
copper which, like most works of this nature, fail to interest us
very much; owing to their scale they have necessarily nothing of the
impressiveness of an oil portrait, whilst as miniatures they lack
delicacy and charm.


As the Isabeys and Halls strike the dominant note of the Wallace
Collection of miniatures, so do the enamels by Petitot that of the
Jones Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. There are at
Kensington no less than 56 pieces attributed to Jean Petitot, besides
two others ascribed to Petitot the Younger.

I shall not re-enter upon a criticism of the great Genevese enameller
and his marvellous art, with its distinctive character, further than
to repeat that for minute delicacy, perfection of drawing, and
colouring it has never been excelled. I am speaking of course, of
genuine work by Petitot, for he has had numberless imitators and

[Illustration: J. B. MASSÉ.


(_M. Ed. Taigny._)]

Upon examining the index of painters which is subjoined to this chapter
it will be seen that many of the names we have been discussing occur
therein, but the Jones Collection cannot be said to be a representative
one. There are but three or four Coopers, one each by Hilliard and
Hoskins, Zincke and Boit have five between them; there are three
attributed to Peter Oliver, and the like number to Isaac. In the case
of the last named, however, we have a _chef d'[oe]uvre_ in the shape of
the portrait of the Earl of Dorset already described in Chapter VI. By
Bernard Lens also we have an important example, namely, the full length
of Sarah Jennings, Duchess of Marlborough, in the blue robe affected by
artists of the period.

But it is the Petitots which in the eyes of students should give such
especial value to this collection, for nowhere else, so far as I have
seen or heard, can the like be found, certainly not at the Louvre.
Having previously enlarged fully upon the exquisite art of which Jean
Petitot was the greatest exponent, I need not recapitulate the charm
which attaches to these gems of miniature painting nor the difficulties
attending their production. But I have been at the pains to arrange
the Jones Collection alphabetically under painters and personages, to
facilitate reference. By the aid of this analysis I trust my readers
will be enabled to judge for themselves what there is to see at
Kensington in this way, and, if they have a genuine interest in the
subject, they may find the study of the collection facilitated by this
key to its contents.




  Addison, Joseph, 305

  Aiguillon, Duchesse de, 307

  Alençon, Duc de, 553

  Angoulême, Duchesse de, 502

  Anjou, Duc de, 289

  Antoinette, Marie, 347, 497, 502

  Artois, Comte d', 502

  Austria, Anne of, 312, 345


  Berri, Duc de, 293

  Berri, Duchesse de, 288

  Bohemia, Elizabeth of, 257

  Borgia, Cesare, 87

  Bourgogne, Duchesse de, 292

  Brissac, Duchesse de, 262


  Catherine I., 282

  Catinat, 524

  Challace, Mlle. de, 290

  Charles I., 349, 517

  Charles II., 88, 304

  Christine, Queen, 255

  Corneille, 313

  Condé, Le Grand, 272

  Condé, Henri Prince de, 92, 277

  Condé, Princesse de, 274

  Condé, Sister of Le Grand, 280

  Conti, Anne, Princesse de, 260, 263


  Dauphin, the, 502

  Dorset, Earl of, 357

  Drake, Sir F., 297


  Elizabeth, 350

  Elizabeth, Mme., 502

  Essex, R., Earl of, 301

  Etampes, Duchesse de, 86


  Fontanges, Mlle., 543

  Fouquet, Nicholas, 279

  François II., 421


  George IV., 339

  Grammont, Comtesse de, 287, 489

  Granby, Marquis of, 506

  Grignan, Comtesse de, 269, 543

  Guise, Louis Jos., 320

  Guise, Duc de, 266


  Henry, Prince of Wales, 294

  Henrietta Maria, Queen, 254, 521

  Henry VIII., 85


  James, Duke of York, 89


  Lamballe, Princesse de, 348

  L'Enclos, Ninon de 253, 489

  Longueville, Duchesse de, 251

  Lorraine, Duchesse de, 317

  Lorraine, Cardinal, 424

  Louis XIV., 246-8, 259, 270, 273, 275, 309, 359, 486 See also 539

  Louis XV., 286, 352, 519

  Louis XVI., 362

  Louis XVIII., 502

  Louvois, Marquis de, 264

  Luxembourg, F. Duc de, 261, 267


  Maintenon, Mme. de, 271, 479

  Maine, Duc de, 249

  Marlborough, Duchess of, 91, 364

  Mary, Queen (of William III.), 356

  Mary, Queen of Scots, 80, 299, 541

  Marie Thérèse, Queen, 315

  Mazarin, Cardinal, 247, 318

  Mazarin, Duchesse de, 291, 308

  Meilleraye, Duc de, 311

  Milton, 351

  Molière, 316

  Montpensier, Duchesse de, 241

  Montespan, Mme. de, 242, 252


  Nôtre, André le, 278


  Orléans, M. Louise, Duchesse d', 524

  Orléans, Philippe d', 284

  Orléans, Duchesse d', 265, 344, 488

  Orléans, Duc d', 240

  Ormonde, James, Duke of, 298


  Pontchartreux, 525

  Pembroke, Countess of, 365

  Peter the Great, 363

  Philip V., 283

  Portsmouth, Duchess of, 285, 343

  Pym, J., 84


  Racine, 355

  Richelieu, Duc de, 326, 346

  Rochester, J. Wilmot, Earl of, 295

  Rochefoucauld, 310

  Rupert, Prince, 302


  Sévigné, Mme. de, 245, 250, 482

  Sidney, Sir Philip, 303

  Sidney, Mary, Countess of Pembroke, 365

  Soissons, Comtesse de, 276

  Sully, Duc de, 314


  Thurloe, John, 296

  Turenne, Comte de, 90, 268


  Unknown, 300, 319, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 358, 509


  Vallière, Mlle. de la, 243, 258

  Vendôme, Duc de, 256

  Vendôme, Louis Joseph, Duc de, 281

  Vermandois, Comte de, 244


  Wales, Henry, Prince of, 294

  Wellington, Duke of, 531

  William III., 354


  York, James, Duke of, 89


  Artaud, 289

  Boit, C., 282, 288, 292

  Boucher, 341, 347

  Cooper, S., 295 (after) 296 (after) 302, 304, 351

  Essex, William, 339

  F. Hans, 344, 362

  Gerbier, 349

  Hilliard, N., 350

  Holbein, H., 81 (after) 85

  Hoskins, J., 365

  Isabey, 531

  Janet, 353

  Janssen, C., 82, 83, 84

  Lens, Bernard, 364, 541

  Le Seuer, 506

  Oliver, Isaac, 294, 303, 357

  Oliver, Peter, 361, 517, 521

  Parent, J., 486

  Petitot, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 246, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256, 258, 259, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 273, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280?, 281, 285, 291, 293, 306, 307, 309, 310, 311, 312, 315, 316, 318, 320, 321, 323, 324?, 326, 328, 330, 331, 333, 336, 488, 543?

  Petitot the Younger, 308, 327

  P. W., 89

  Seuin, P., 90

  Titian, 87

  Zincke, C. F., 300, 305





A study of French miniature painters has led the present writer to
place their work on a higher level than has heretofore, perhaps, been
generally assigned to it, and has shown him that there have been not
a few but many French miniaturists of remarkable excellence, and that
they practised their art during a period which we are accustomed to
look upon as one of anarchy, of tumult, and of bloodshed; a fact which
is not only interesting in itself, but has the advantage of throwing
light upon the period also; on its life, and on the men and women
who played prominent parts during that eventful period of modern
history, for we find ample evidence that even during the Terror itself
the miniature painter was busy at work. In this respect, as in many
others, a recent exhibition of eighteenth century French Art, at the
Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, revealed much. Indeed, it may be said
that it was the most noteworthy event in connection with miniatures,
and the claims they have upon the notice of students of art, of
manners, and of costume, which has taken place for years.

It was recognised as a revelation by the learned authorities of the
French national library, who were responsible for its arrangement,
foremost amongst whom stood the late lamented Henri Bouchot, "Directeur
du département des Estampes," a gentleman to whose courtesy I have been
personally indebted, and whose critical acumen was well known.

It was, they said, a revelation; they spoke of it in relation to its
technical aspects more particularly. It brought to light a number of
French miniature painters whose ability was amply demonstrated, but
who were almost or quite unknown at the present day, even to their own

But the personality of these miniature painters and the remarkable
people who sat to them must not make us ignore some earlier men to whom
I shall now briefly refer.

In the first place I may call attention to the fact that, as might be
expected, a comparison between French painters-in-little and those of
Great Britain reveals some interesting differences, both technically
and in respect of the treatment of the subject. The latter differences,
which spring from national characteristics, will, I think, be brought
out as we come to deal with the work of the various artists, and I
shall not stop to enlarge upon them now.

At a time when we could boast in England of no native artist of
importance--hardly one, indeed, can be named, for Nicholas Hilliard was
not born until the middle of the sixteenth century--there was working
in France a family of artists known as the Clouets, who produced
portraiture of great excellence. What I have termed elsewhere the
tangled skein of the history of the Clouets would take a great deal of
unravelling. It is a subject to which foreign critics of eminence have
devoted much time and trouble. Without following all their researches
in detail, or professing to utter anything like the last word upon
an obscure and difficult subject, it may be said to have been proved
that the family was undoubtedly of Flemish extraction, and that they
were firmly established at the French Court at the beginning of the
sixteenth century. M. Laborde, in his "Renaissance des Arts à la Cour
de France," quotes a deed of gift of property which had escheated
to the Crown dated 1516, the second year of the reign of François
I., which shows that, at any rate, by that time the Clouets were
established in Royal favour.

[Illustration: L. SICARDI.


(_M. le Comte Allard du Chollet._)]

The surname was probably originally Clouwet, and two members of the
family, father and son, have been commonly known as Janet. This
duplication of names, to say nothing of the varieties of spelling, has
led to a good deal of confusion in the attribution of works by these
artists. Among the latest authorities upon this subject I may quote my
friend M. Dimier, of Paris, who contributed a chapter to my book on the
portraiture of Mary Queen of Scots.[5]

[Footnote 5: "Concerning the True Portraiture of Mary Stuart."
Dickinsons, 1905.]

The subject has a significance of its own for French art critics as
throwing light upon the influences exerted upon French artists at the
period of the Renaissance--that is to say, whether the work by the
men of that time which has come down to us owes its highest artistic
qualities to Italian influence, to native genius, or to Flemish
influence. Critics are divided into two camps: those who stoutly
maintain the claims of the French artists to originality, and those who
are equally confident that it is to Italian influence we owe all that
is most attractive in French art of that period. M. Dimier has acutely
pointed out that whilst the Italian influence theory is anathema to
many, these same critics allow the assertion of Flemish influence to
pass without a protest.

Be all this as it may, it is quite clear that the vogue for portraiture
in France at the beginning of the sixteenth century was extraordinary.
Contemporary inventories show that drawings by the thousand must have
existed. They were kept in albums in the houses of the great, and many
collections are known. Catherine de Medici loved to have her children
painted, and M. Bonafflé has shown that her estate included more than
a hundred such portraits. There are numbers of these to be seen to-day
at Chantilly, the old home of the Condés, not the least interesting of
which is a series of eighty or ninety drawings in black and red chalk
that once belonged to the Earl of Carlisle and formed part of the
famous Castle Howard Collection.

Before leaving the Clouets, I may mention that a painting, measuring
sixty-one by fifty-three inches, of Henri II. was sold at Christie's
in January, 1905, for £2,500. Those who were fortunate enough to have
visited the Exhibition de Primitifs Français at Paris, in 1904, will
remember a number of interesting portraits attributed to the two
Clouets, of which they cannot have failed to admire the beautiful
portrait from the Louvre of Elizabeth of Austria. The original drawing
for this is in the Bibliothèque Nationale, and the existence of the two
works--that is, the crayon from nature and the beautifully finished
picture in oils--is interesting as showing the practice of the artist.

In the remarkable Exhibition just named the student will have made the
acquaintance of many names probably new to him, and can hardly have
failed to observe the number attributed to Corneille de Lyon, most of
them dated somewhere about 1548. This is an artist who has only of
late years won recognition. He, too, was a Fleming, but the only name
which can be assigned to him is Corneille. M. Dimier says he was a
native of the Hague who settled at Lyons. He surmises that the Royal
visits to Lyons in the year 1536 were productive of Royal patronage.
But M. Dimier appears to hold very conflicting views as to the merits
of this artist, and discovers great divergences in his style; thus he
says: "His [Corneille's] knowledge is so scanty that he can scarce fill
in his own feeble design; in the best of these pictures the bust and
shoulders are like students' work, and verge on the ridiculous"; yet
his texture, he says, elsewhere, "is delicate, limpid, and absolutely
fresh, the total effect the result of genius of a very small order."
But in a portrait of the Baron de Chateauneuf, which does, or did,
belong to Mr. Charles Butler, he finds work which he says is scarcely
unworthy of Holbein; "in depth of knowledge, boldness of execution,
and extreme beauty of colour this little work is a masterpiece, far and
away superior to anything which I have ascribed to the Janets," &c.

I have quoted these opinions at some length so that readers may judge
for themselves of the relative importance of this early artist, all of
whose work exhibited at the Exhibition de Primitifs was small in scale,
and most of it, I have reason to believe, new to some students of art.

When we leave the Court of the Valois we seem to come to a great gap in
our subject; and it is not until we arrive at the names of Petitot and
his followers, a subject which has already been dealt with in Chapter
VIII., that there is anything of importance to arrest our attention.
This book is in no sense a detailed history of miniature painting; it
merely aims at discussing some of the salient points of a wide subject;
and, therefore, I make no further apology for passing on to the work
which was executed in the eighteenth century, when several artists of
remarkable ability appear on the horizon. I propose to take a few of
the most eminent of these names, and to deal with them in chronological

Following that classification, the amiable Rosalba Carriera will come
first. She was born in Venice in 1675; and though some would deny her
any extraordinary talent, certain it is that she achieved European
reputation. This lady must have possessed charming manners and very
endearing qualities, for she is reputed to have been plain in personal
appearance. Some ten or twelve years before her death, which
occurred in her native place in 1757, she became blind, and devoted
her means and the closing period of her life to works of charity.
She painted a good many miniatures, which are dispersed in various
collections, also landscapes. But probably her fame will rest most
securely upon her work in pastels, of which there are examples in the
Louvre; I recall two in the Salon des Pastels which are not unworthy
of the fine specimens of that kind of work which hang around them; and
that is high praise indeed, for, as every one knows, work in crayons
was carried by French artists of the eighteenth century to a pitch
of astonishing excellence; some of the portraits in that room by La
Tour, for example, can hardly be surpassed for truth to nature and
beauty of drawing; with almost the strength of oil paintings, they
have a character and charm peculiar to themselves. In landscape work
Rosalba earned great renown, though there are some who say that she was
over-praised in her day and by her generation.

[Illustration: P. P. PRUDHON.


(_Eudoxe-Marcille Collection._)]

Jean Baptiste Massé has been described as a link between seventeenth
and eighteenth century miniature painters. He was also an engraver, the
son of a Protestant goldsmith of Chateaudun, born in 1687. In spite
of his religion, the Regent obtained his admission to the Academy. He
worked in gouache and his style is said to have influenced Hall. The
portrait of Natoire here shown gives a good idea of his powers. He
lived till 1767.

In François Boucher, who was born just at the beginning of the century,
in 1704, and died in 1770, we have an artist of consummate ability,
whose renown does not depend upon his miniatures. He may be called
the decorative artist _par excellence_ of the century; but probably
many of the little nudities (of which there are a large collection
to be seen at Hertford House) which are attributed to Boucher are
really by Charlier and others of his followers. The learned editor
of the catalogue of the collection of French miniatures shown at the
Bibliothèque Nationale in 1906 is my authority for saying that some
of the miniatures which are signed Boucher are by Madame Boucher, not
the wife of our painter, but a lady bearing the same name. Thus the
connection of François Boucher with our subject appears to be slight,
and as his other work is so well known we need not stop to discuss him

Jacques Charlier comes next to his master in point of date, having been
born in 1720. Very little biographical information is to be gleaned
about this artist; nevertheless he was extremely well known in his
time, and his genius, such as it was, appears to have been admirably
adapted to the taste of the day. Thus, the Comte de Caylus, the amateur
who has left us that valuable memoir of Watteau which the Goncourts
rescued from oblivion, is said to have possessed a hundred examples by
Charlier; and in 1772 the Prince de Conti commissioned him to paint a
dozen miniatures at 1,200 livres apiece. Louis XV. also extended his
patronage to Charlier, who painted upon boxes most of the members of
that monarch's family.

It would seem that after the death of Louis XV. Charlier's reputation
waned, and the value of his works diminished. He had a sale of his
productions which by no means answered his expectations, and shortly
afterwards he died. Hertford House can boast of a large number of works
attributed to Charlier; but, for the most part, they consist of the
familiar Toilet of Venus, nymphs bathing, and such-like subjects which
we are wont to associate with Boucher. But here and there will be found
a portrait--one of Madame Elizabeth of France, for instance.

The versatile Jean Honoré Fragonard, says M. Bouchot, painted
miniatures only for his amusement. This critic also attributes them
to Madame Fragonard. Be their authorship what it may, examples which
can be safely attributed to him are extremely rare and greatly sought
after. A representative one is to be seen in the Ashmolean Museum
at Oxford, and another is in the Wallace Collection.[6] Each may be
described as a portrait study of a young girl; in each the handling
is broad in the extreme, and resembles a freely painted water-colour
drawing in effect.

[Footnote 6: No. 183, in Gallery XI.]

I now come to a miniature painter proper, of the highest excellence,
viz., Pierre Adolphe Hall. He has been termed--and I, for one, should
agree with this verdict--the finest miniature painter of the eighteenth
century. The facility of his execution is simply marvellous; the
sweetness and tenderness of expression that he gives to his faces,
and the invariable refinement of his works, make them delightful. His
manner is entirely peculiar to himself, body colour being largely
used. The work is broad in style and effect, and yet the features are
often minute.

The career of this prolific artist was somewhat chequered; and although
he earned large sums of money by his brush--as much as twenty to thirty
thousand livres a year, it is said--he died in poverty, and left his
family in want. He was born at Stockholm, in 1736. When twenty-four
years of age he came to Paris to study; here he remained many years,
and married a Mlle. Godin, of Versailles, whose father was killed in
the Revolution. Gustavus III. wished Hall to return to Sweden; but he
had become so thoroughly French that he refused.

The Revolution sounded the knell of the artist's fortunes. Quitting
Paris, he started for the north, hoping to find employment and
commissions on the way; but at Liège he was seized with apoplexy, and
died there, in 1793.

In the Exhibition of Miniatures at the French National Library to
which I have several times referred, there were over fifty examples
attributed to Hall, many of superb quality and undoubted authenticity.
I do not mention the price obtained at auction as an infallible test of
the quality of a miniature, or of any other work of art--for fashion
reigns supreme in the sale-room as elsewhere; nevertheless, it is
perhaps worth recording that two miniatures by Hall, shown in this
collection, fetched the sum of 28,000 and 60,000 francs respectively,
one being a portrait of the Countess Helflinger, _née_ O'Dune--an
exquisitely soft and tender example, now belonging to M. Cognac; while
the other came from the Mülbacher Sale, and represented, not Louisa,
Queen of Prussia, as was wrongly stated in Swedish on the back of the
frame, but probably, since the portrait is entirely French in style,
that of Mlle. Dugazon in the character of _Nina_, as may be seen by a
comparison with an engraving of the subject by Janinet after Houin,
and the portrait by Mme. Vigée le Brun of the famous actress which now
belongs to the Comtesse de Pourtales.

[Illustration: J. B. AUGUSTIN.


(_M. Ed. Taigny._)]

[Illustration: J. GUÉRIN.


(_Mme. de Sainte Martin Valogne._)]

The year after Hall, was born in Stockholm another Swedish artist,
destined to attain great popularity in France, and, like his greater
compatriot, to fall into neglect, was Nicolas Lavreince, or, to give
him his proper name, Nicolas Lanfransen.

When about thirty years of age he came to Paris to pursue his studies,
and the work of his dainty, minute, not always too decorous brush was
just suited to the taste of the people for whom he worked and amongst
whom he lived. He, too, like Hall, drew _Nina_, and the Dugazon in the
_rôle_ of _Babet_, and the Du Barry of course; all of whom were to be
seen in the Bibliothèque Nationale a year or two ago, each portrait
being marked by extreme delicacy of touch and minuteness of finish.
It must be owned that there is an extraordinary charm about the work
of this artist, apart from its merits of execution; but it is a charm
difficult to put into words. They have not the unreality of the _fêtes
galantes_, nor the domesticity of our Francis Wheatley, but something
between the two, something of the daintiness of Watteau combined with
the homeliness of the English artist.

He worked a good deal in body colour, and his gouaches have been
engraved in colour and in black and white by Janinet and Vidal. Many of
these, such as "La Comparaison," "L'Aveu Difficile," "L'Indiscrétion,"
are very celebrated, and now of extreme value; while another, "Le petit
Conseil," is a print of great rarity. Probably driven away by the
Revolution, Lavreince, like Hall, quitted Paris, and died at Stockholm,
in 1807, at which date, according to M. Bouchot, his art had fallen
into complete discredit.

Antoine Vestier, born in 1740, is recognised as an oil painter, and
was received into the French Academy in 1786. He is said to have
rivalled Mme. Vigée le Brun and Roslin, and loved to adorn his sitters
with ribbons and satins. Nevertheless, he was a miniature painter,
and exhibited in the Salon excellent work of the kind, marked by good
colour and careful execution. He lived on until the end of the first
quarter of the nineteenth century, and had a daughter, Nicole Vestier,
who was also a miniature painter. She married Dumont, himself a
distinguished artist, of whom I shall have something to say later on.

Another artist who devoted special pains to his draperies, and has been
called the Roslin of miniature painting, was Jean Laurent Mosnier, born
in Paris, in 1746. Mosnier was made an Academician two years after
Vestier, but did not long survive, dying in 1795. French critics place
his work on a level with that of Augustin or Dumont. His comparatively
early death may account for the rarity of his miniatures, which are
extremely scarce and much sought after nowadays, being distinguished
by excellent taste and brilliant finish, especially, as I have said, in
the painting of the draperies.

In the same year as the last-named artist, Luc Sicard, or, as he was
sometimes called, Sicardi, was born. He was a native of Avignon, and
one of the best miniature painters of his day. The delicacy of his
flesh tones, the precision of his execution, and his attention to the
most minute details made his work especially adapted for _boits aux
portraits_; and he was officially attached to the Ministry for Foreign
Affairs, to assist in the production of these _cadeaux diplomatiques_,
for which he was wont to be paid 300 livres apiece. Hence many
portraits of the French Royalty of his time were executed by him.

There is a lovely example of his delicate handling in the Wallace
Collection (reproduced in my "Miniature Painters"); and the fine
example given in this volume, the portraits of Benoit Boulouvard and
Françoise du Plain de Ste. Albine, gives a good idea of his style,
though it cannot convey the colouring which is especially charming
in the latter example. Thus, the girl wears a citron-coloured ribbon
in her beautifully painted hair, her dress is of a tender pale
greenish-blue, her lips fresh and red; her dark eyes contrast with a
pale complexion of the utmost purity, while the boy's deep blue eyes
contrast with his warm brown hair. Sicardi died in the same year as
Mosnier, namely 1825.

Another provincial artist of about this period was Claude Jean Baptiste
Houin, a native of Dijon, where he died, as Conservateur du Musée,
in 1817. His work, too, is much sought after now. He was a pupil of
Devosge and Greuze, and also painted in pastel.

M. Rouvier, who was born in 1750 and died in the year of Waterloo, is
a man whose work appears to have won recognition in his own time, a
contemporary writer speaking of it as possessing likeness, good colour,
and harmony; but, perhaps owing to the rarity of examples by him, he
may be said to be almost unknown to the present generation. There were
four notable miniatures by him in the Alphonse Kann Collection, dated
1780 and 1781. They are marked by beautiful handling and distinction of

In François Dumont we have, it is generally allowed, one of the
foremost miniature painters that France can boast of, worthy of being
ranked with Isabey and Augustin, and, like both of them, a native of
Lorraine. In the Exhibition, which was so valuable as an exposition of
what the French school was capable of, there were a large number of
works by Dumont, comprising Marie Antoinette, painted in 1774, and many
portraits of the period of the Revolution. There is a certain sobriety
and moderation about the work of Dumont which conveys a sense of solid
value, sometimes rising to a height of character painting of extreme
vigour, and sometimes, in his women's portraits, marked by great
delicacy of face, hair and drapery painting.

The career of Dumont is a notable instance of the triumph of genius and
industry. He was left an orphan, with six brothers and sisters, and
when only eighteen years of age quitted his native place, Luneville,
and came to Paris as a portrait painter. After ten or twelve years'
work he had so far succeeded as to be able to go to Rome, in 1784,
where he established a reputation which led to his being appointed the
"miniaturiste attitré" of the Italian Court. He was made an Academician
when only thirty-seven, and the King gave him Cochin's rooms in the
Louvre. The year the Revolution broke out he married Nicole Vestier;
and from that time on till 1824 Dumont's contributions to the Salon
were regular and numerous.

[Illustration: L. F. AUBRY.


(_M. de Richter._)]

There is a comparatively large collection of his works to be seen at
the Louvre, bequeathed by Dr. Gillet. It may be noted that he had a
brother, Laurent Nicolas Antoine, called Tony, who painted miniatures,
signed "Dumont," at Paris. Some critics are inclined to attribute a
certain heaviness of style to Dumont, which may be the excess of the
solid qualities that I spoke of; and this charge is somewhat borne out
by the examples to be seen at the Louvre.

The _lourdeur_ of Dumont passes into leatheriness in the work of Louis
Lié Périn, his flesh painting being greatly inferior to that of his
master, Sicardi. Périn came to Paris to earn his living as a miniature
painter in 1778. Ruined by the Assignats in 1799, he returned to his
native place, Rheims, where he followed his father's trade of woollen
manufacturer; but he continued to paint during the Empire, and died in

In Pierre Paul Prudhon (1758-1823) we have an artist indeed, but not,
strictly speaking, a miniature painter, for his work in this manner
was but little. Nevertheless, there is one celebrated example of his
powers, viz., the portrait of Mlle. Constance Mayer, from the Eudoxe
Marcille Collection. The tragic end of this pupil and friend of Prudhon
is well known. The face is marked by the sensibility which was the
distinguishing charm of that ill-fated lady and artist. There is a
large drawing of the same subject in the Louvre (reproduced in my
recent work on "Eighteenth Century French Art"), remarkable for force
and character.

Jean Baptiste Jacques Augustin (1759-1832) has long enjoyed a
reputation as one of the greatest miniature painters produced by
France; but it was reserved for the Exhibition brought together at
the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1906 to show the extent and surpassing
quality of some of his work. From the collections of Baron Schlichting
and Alphonse Kann, from the Doistau Collection, and last, but not
least, from Mr. Pierpont Morgan, came nearly fifty works. The quality
of these varied a good deal, some being almost coarse and bricky in
colour, whilst others, notably some sketches, with small heads, which
came from Augustin's heirs, were amongst the most wonderful things I
have ever seen in art of this nature. It would be impossible to convey
an adequate idea of the marvellous expression, delicacy, and finish
combined in the heads in these sketches, which were not larger than a
pea. In another specimen of his powers in the same collection might
be seen the most delicate tones of flesh painting imaginable. In the
Wallace Collection are nine or ten Augustins, including Jérome and
Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie Louise. The most attractive of them all is
a young lady in a white bodice, with a leopard skin hanging round her
_décolleté_ figure. She has a most vivacious and winning expression. It
is dated 1824.

Augustin arrived in Paris some eight years before the outbreak of the
Revolution; he lived to paint Napoleon at the height of his greatness,
say, about 1810, Joséphine, Pauline, and others of the Bonaparte
family, and died of cholera in 1832. Between 1781 and 1800, when he was
married, he painted upwards of three hundred and sixty portraits, some
miniatures and some in oils. His wife became his pupil, and is said to
have almost equalled her husband. She lived till 1865, and her work is
often confounded with that of her husband, whose method of working and
artistic tendencies she thoroughly understood and embraced.

It has been said of Augustin that he was the traditional descendant
of the old missal painters; and a portrait by him of Denon in enamel
recalls, according to M. Bouchot, the best work of Fouquet, of Clouet,
or Nanteuil. I should have said that, compared with the two latter
painters, he was far their superior when at his best. For delineation
of character, minute detail, and brilliant, if somewhat hard, finish,
Augustin's work would hold its own in comparison with much of the
finest medieval missal-painting, which, indeed, it instinctively
recalls. Although, consciously or unconsciously, Augustin's work
may have been influenced by the study of medieval work, with its
brilliancy, formality, and patience, amongst the fifty pieces from his
hand shown in Paris a considerable variety of treatment might be found,
some of it being large and bold in style, as, for example, a portrait
of the sculptor Calamard.

J.-B. J. Augustin must not be confounded with that Augustin Dubourg who
signed his work "Augustin." Dubourg's work is not met with after 1800;
it is said that he was a cousin of the better-known man, and came from
the same town, namely St. Dié in the Vosges.

A contemporary of Augustin, born in the same year and dying in the
same year, was Charles Guillaume Alexandre Bourgeois. His effective
manner of rendering a portrait may be said to be peculiar to himself,
he treating them as medallions, and painting the head in profile on
a black ground, which greatly added to their effect. Although this
seems to have been Bourgeois's favourite method of portraiture, it was
not his invariable practice; and when, leaving the marble whiteness
and medal-like effect of his ordinary method, he set himself to
paint flesh tones and the fair skin and rounded contours of youth,
he was equally successful. He is said to have been very proficient
in practical chemistry, and published several works on the subject.
Although he exhibited in the Salon from 1800 to 1824, his work is
rare, and examples fetch a high price. A peculiarity I have noted in
his treatment is that the eyes in his women's portraits are invariably
large and the eyes lashes curled to an unnatural degree. I should
say that his men are not as well painted as his women. The medallion
style that he affects makes his work particularly suitable for
insertion in boxes.

[Illustration: J. B. ISABEY.


(_M. Ed. Taigny._)]

In concluding these remarks upon the French school of miniature
painters, I come to a very distinguished name, that of Isabey, with
which two other artists may be grouped as pupils or companions; and we
will take the latter first; they are Jean Guérin and Louis François

Guérin was born in 1760, and was a companion of Isabey in David's
studio. His abilities must have been early recognised at Court, as he
painted the King and Queen, and, later, many of the celebrities of the
Assemblée; he also lived to paint Joséphine Bonaparte in Court costume.
His portrait of General Kléber is perhaps the best known miniature
in the Louvre, and is a work of astonishing virility and force of
character. It was exhibited in the Salon of 1798, and he made many
copies of it. Although his men's portraits are remarkable for their
searching modelling, he was equally successful with the portraits of
women and children, which he painted with _naïveté_ and tenderness.

The other associate of Isabey was Louis François Aubry, a Parisian,
born in 1767, who lived till the middle of the nineteenth century.
Contemporary criticism assigned to this artist the ability to imitate
his master Isabey, and to rival him in delicacy of brush and fidelity
of likeness. Although he exhibited for over thirty years at the Salon,
there is nothing by him in the Wallace Collection, and I only recall
one in the Louvre, and that is a large miniature, painted with great
care, representing a lady playing a harp. It is highly finished
throughout, and recalls the best work of Augustin. I should say that he
excelled in what may be called full-dress pictures, somewhat conscious,
not to say affected, in pose, but excellent work of high technical
quality. Aubry was at his zenith during the Restoration; he lived till
1851, and for many years had an _atelier_ in Paris frequented by male
and female students.

In some respects Jean Baptiste Isabey is the most remarkable name in
the annals of French miniature painting. He was _persona grata_ to
successive monarchs, having been _peintre attitré_ to Napoleon, to the
Allies, to Louis XVIII., and to Charles X. But the commencement of this
artist's career can be taken much farther back, seeing that it was the
admiration of Marie Antoinette for his work upon _boites decorées_ that
led to his first royal patronage, and resulted in his being installed
at Versailles before he was of age. From that time, the very eve of the
Revolution, until 1855 he produced a long series of portraits of all
the most distinguished personages of his time.

The Wallace Collection is especially rich in his work, there being
nearly thirty examples by his hand. With Napoleon I. he was a special
favourite, and, as I have said, several of his portraits of the Emperor
may be seen at Hertford House, representing him in full Imperial
costume, in academic dress, with Joséphine, and otherwise. And there,
too, may be seen two portraits of the Duke of Wellington from his
hand. But this collection is especially rich in portraits of ladies of
the Empire and Restoration, to depict whose charms he adopted a style
of his own, known to French critics as _portraits sous voile_. These
ladies are touched in with a light hand and with the freedom of a
water-colour sketch.

This manner of painting, in which he may be said to have set the
fashion, is the very antithesis in style to that of his master David;
but the rigorous training of that severe draughtsman enabled Isabey,
when he chose, to paint with a precision and minute finish which is
the _ne plus ultra_ of such work. This was shown in a large piece,
twenty-three by seventeen centimetres, exhibited in Paris in 1906, and
representing the children of Joachim Murat, and Caroline of Naples
_déjeunant sur l'herbe_. This, I do not hesitate to say, is the most
extraordinary piece of work of its kind that I have ever seen. It is
a group of several children in velvet dresses of the period, and a
certain quality of velvety softness marks the execution. The attention
to detail is microscopic; all the accessories of the little picnic
party are painted with elaborate care; the stalk of the flowers in the
dessert dish, the tiny finger-nails of the children, are all treated
as if the artist's reputation depended upon the fidelity with which he
represented them. It is a veritable _tour de force_ of finish; but such
is the brilliant and luminous way in which he has handled it that there
is nothing hard or laboured in its effect, in spite of the immense
amount of work it must have entailed.

In this particular example there is a quality recalling the finest
Flemish work; and yet, as Isabey came to the capital, as we have seen,
before he was twenty-one years of age, he can hardly have been subject
to Flemish influences; I should attribute it to the influence of David
and the classical school. The group I have been describing is not
dated, but clearly belongs to the halcyon days of the Empire.

It may have been the demands made upon the time of Isabey, owing to his
numberless commissions, that made him adopt the less laboured style
of most of the portraits of ladies which may be seen at the Wallace
Collection--that is, his latest manner--which is so entirely different
from the group of Murat's children as to make one almost doubt at first
sight that it can have proceeded from the same hand.

I had intended to close this notice upon the French painters with
Isabey, who, as he lived to be nearly ninety, seems to be linked on
almost to our own times; but there are two or three others to whom I
must briefly refer, of whom the Italian Ferdinand Quaglia is one.

He was born in 1780, and was established in Paris in 1805, where,
having obtained the patronage of Joséphine Beauharnais, he became
a Court painter. A miniature of the Empress by him may be seen at
Hertford House; it is probably a replica, as it is dated 1814, and
she was divorced five years earlier. Quaglia's work is marked by high
finish, but it is uninteresting, and his style sometimes approaches the
smoothness of porcelain, which detracts from its artistic value.

Another artist who clearly enjoyed the French Imperial patronage was
C. Chatillon, as is shown by the beautiful portrait of Napoleon in his
coronation robe and wearing the laurel wreath of victory, which adorns
this volume. The original is in the collection of his Grace the Duke of

Daniel Saint was an excellent artist, though not, perhaps, of the first
rank; there are several examples of his work in the Wallace Collection,
and he may be regarded as the successor of Augustin and Dumont.

Lastly, I may mention J. Mansion, who painted many charming portraits
of the period of the Restoration, as may be seen at Hertford House.
He was associated with the Sèvres factory, but his quality as a
portrait painter is amply vindicated in the Wallace Collection. His
work was probably largely influenced by Isabey, whose style it closely


The practice of the art of Miniature Painting has now been traced
through several centuries, from its origin in the cloister, to its
enthronement on the hearth and place of honour in mid-Victorian homes.

These pages will have been written to little purpose if they have not
amply demonstrated the truth of what Dr. Johnson has finely said of
the art, namely, that it is "so valuable in diffusing friendship, in
reviving tenderness, in awakening the affections of the absent, and
continuing the presence of the dead."

I have quoted these words elsewhere; but none that I am acquainted with
so aptly express the personal interest pertaining to miniatures, which
strikes a deep and vibrant note, one which, when joined to exquisite
work, as we have seen it to be in the case of so many examples of the
older masters, lends an indefinable charm to miniatures, and makes them
amongst the most cherished of human possessions.

Thus much, then, as regards the past. The future progress of this
fascinating art it will be for others to chronicle, if, and when, it
regains an importance which warrants a record.

At present all good judges agree that, in spite of the number of those
who are practising as miniature painters, the standard reached is most
disappointing. The reason for this unsatisfactory state of affairs I
shall leave my readers to determine for themselves, for I may be told
that in talking about old miniatures it is no concern of mine to point
out, and still less to dwell upon, the merits or otherwise of recent
examples. Nevertheless, as one who has studied the subject somewhat
closely for many years, I may be allowed to express the conviction that
the deficiencies so painfully apparent in modern work are mainly due to
the want of thorough artistic training.

Miniature painting is too often taken up much as ladies take up some
new kind of "fancy-work" (as they term it). Want of success--due to
lack of knowledge and lack of experience--soon leads to discouragement.
Thus the persistent practice which led to success in other days is
wanting, and the artist's powers never reach their full development.
If this be true, and I think it is, the remedy for it, as far as the
artists are concerned, may be found in more careful training and in
patient devotion to work.

But then, the public who employ them must play their part. They must
show greater refinement of taste, and learn to discriminate; to reject
what is bad or indifferent, and realise that good work cannot be cheap
work, that it demands and is entitled to adequate remuneration.

It should be the task of each successive generation to see that the
art of miniature painting is encouraged. Miniatures must be taken
seriously, not regarded as mere bric-à-brac or trifles. I repeat,
we must insist upon a high standard. We have a goodly heritage of
beautiful work of unique historical value handed down to us, and it is
a duty to perpetuate this series, so that the "fair women and brave
men" of our own days shall not go unrepresented; and thus shall we add
our share to the treasures of our national art and earn the gratitude
of posterity.



  Amber, Millicent, wife of William Cobden, 256, 257

  Amsterdam, Liotards at, 218

  Anglo-Celtic, _see_ Hibernian

  _Arlaud_, 28

  Ashmolean Museum, miniatures at, 83

  _Aubrey, L. F._, 355

  Audley, Lady, by Holbein, 286

  _Augustin, J. B. J._, quality of his work, 350, 351;
    examples of, in Wallace Collection, 310, 351;
    his career, 351

  _Augustin, J. B. J., Madame_, 351


  Barbor jewel, the, 315

  Battersea enamels, 89

  Belvoir, miniatures at, 298

  Bessborough family, owners of Liotards, 218

  _Betts, J. & T._, 28, 105, 106, 109

  Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Janets at, 288

  _Biffin, Miss_, 35

  _Boit, Charles_, 83

  Bonaparte, Napoleon I., 308

  Bonaparte, Caroline, 308

  Bonaparte, Jerome, 308

  Bonaparte, Louis, 308

  Bonaparte, Pauline, 308

  _Bone, Henry_, 30, 90

  _Bone, Henry Pierce_, 30, 93

  _Bone, W._, 30, 93

  _Bone, C. R._, 30, 93

  _Bone, P. J._, 31

  _Bordier, Jacques_, 75, 198, 201

  _Bordier, Pierre_, 76, 201

  _Boucher, François_, 308, 337

  _Boucher, Madame_, 338

  _Bourgeois, C. G. A._, 352

  Brandon, Alicia, wife of N. Hilliard, 297

  Brandon, Charles and Henry, sons of the Duke of Suffolk, by Holbein, 282

  British Museum, enamels at, 73

  Buccleuch Collection of Miniatures, the, 22, 118, 122, 140, 143, 149, 160, 293-95, 300

  Burdett-Coutts Collection, 298, 299

  Byzantine work, 66, 69


  Camargo, La, portrait of, 309

  Canterbury Gospels, 53

  Carlisle, Earl of, his collection, 206

  Carlovingian school, 53

  _Carriera, Rosalba_, 334;
    her character, 334;
    her pastels, 337

  _Carter, W._, 35

  Catherine of Braganza, by Cooper, at Victoria and Albert Museum, 316

  _Chalon, A. E._, R.A., 31, 271

  _Chalon, J. J._, R.A., 31

  _Chalon, Miss M. A._, 31

  _Chalon, H. B._, 31

  Chantilly, works by Janet at, 110, 288;
    reference to, 332

  Charles I., his collection of miniatures, 22;
    his miniature by Petitot, 206

  Charles II., by Cooper, 183, 291, 309;
    by Flatman, in the Wallace Collection, 309;
    his miniature by Petitot, 206

  Charlemagne, 53

  _Charlier_, patronised by Louis XV., 338;
    examples of, at Hertford House, 306, 339

  Charlotte, Queen, by O. Humphrey, 252, 292

  _Chatillon, C._, 359

  _Chavant, Mlle._, imitator of Petitot, 202

  _Chinnery, George_, 247

  Claypole, Elizabeth, 294, 297

  Clive, Lord and Lady, portraits of, 247

  _Clouet_, works by, 333

  Cobden family, miniatures of, 256

  Cobden, William, 256

  Cobden, Richard, 256

  Cobden, Richard Brooks, 259

  Cobden Unwin, Mrs., miniatures belonging to, 256-59

  _Collins, Richard_, 31

  _Collins, Samuel_, 31, 221, 251

  _Constantin, Moïse_, imitator of Petitot, 202

  _Cooper, Samuel_, 31, 57;
    Evelyn's reference to, 50;
    his birth and career, 175;
    Pepys's admiration for him, 176;
    money value attaching to his miniatures, 179;
    his portraits of the Protector's family, 179, 180;
    merits of his work criticised, 183;
    examples in the Royal Collection, 186;
    at Montague House, 294;
    at Welbeck, 297;
    at Kensington, 314;
    at Victoria and Albert Museum, 315, 319

  _Cooper, Alexander_, 31;
    rarity of his work, 186;
    his death, 186;
    his inferiority to S. Cooper, 187

  _Corneille de Lyon_, 333

  _Cosway, Richard_, 31;
    his reputation, 232;
    his eccentricities, 232;
    his career, 235;
    his training and dexterity, 235;
    the number of his works, 236;
    and of forgeries of the same, 236;
    a great collector, 238;
    his marriage, 238;
    his character, 242;
    his technique, 245;
    his portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire, 292;
    his works at Victoria and Albert Museum, 314

  _Cosway, Maria_, reference to, 31;
    her parentage and marriage, 238;
    her ability as a painter, 238, 241;
    separates from her husband, 241;
    retires to Italy and dies, 242

  _Courtois, Jehan_, 70

  Cromwell, Oliver, by S. Cooper, at Montague House, 294

  _Crosse, Lawrence_, 31;
    his style of painting, 218;
    examples at Welbeck, 298

  _Crosse, Richard_, 31

  Cuper, Madeleine and Margaret, 79


  Dartrey, Lord, collection of, 80, 201

  Dauphin, Janet's portrait of, 287

  Davis, Mary, by S. Cooper, 297

  _Day, Alexander_, 31

  _Day, Thomas_, 31

  _Dayes, Edward_, 31

  _de Court, Suzanne_, 70

  _de Heere, Lucas_, 101

  _de la Chana, Alexandre_, imitator of Petitot, 202

  _Derby, Alfred_, 31

  _Derby, William_, 31, 221

  Devonshire, Duchess of, portrait of, 238

  Dickinson Gallery, exhibitions of miniatures at, 264, 299

  Digbys, the, portraits of, 150, 153, 154, 299

  Dimier, M., on the Clouets, 331;
    on Corneille de Lyon, 333

  _Dixon, John_, 31;
    engraver, 31;
    examples of, in the Buccleuch Collection, 297

  _Dixon, N._, 31, 32

  _Downman, John_, A.R.A., 268

  Drake, Admiral, by S. Cooper, 297

  _Dubourg, Augustin_, 352

  _Dudman, W._, miniature painter, 256

  _Dufey_, copyist of Petitot, 202

  _Dumont, F._, his career, 346;
    character of his work, 349

  _Dumont, Laurent N. A._, 349

  Du Thé, Mlle., portrait of, 309

  Dyce Collection at Victoria and Albert Museum, 315


  _Edridge, Henry_, A.R.A., 268;
    his copies of Reynolds and drawings, _ibid._

  Edward VI., by Hilliard, 286

  Enamels, early use of, 65;
    _cloisonné_, 66;
    _champlevé_, 69;
    Limoges, 70

  _Engleheart, George_, 32;
    his origin, 255;
    characteristics of his style, 255;
    number of his works, 255;
    their rarity in our public collections, 256

  _Engleheart, J. C. D._, 37

  _Essex, William_, 32, 93, 315

  _Essex, William B._, 32

  Ethelwald, Benedictional of, 56


  _Felu, C. F._, 35

  _Ferrier, F._, 32

  _Ferrier, L._, 32

  _Ferrand, J. P._, imitator of Petitot, 202

  Fitzherbert, Mrs., by R. Cosway, 309

  _Flatman, T._, example of, in Dyce Collection, 316

  _Foldsome, Miss_, _see_ Mee

  _Forster, Thomas_, portraits of Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, 314

  _Fragonard, J. H._, examples of, 310, 339

  _Fragonard, Madame_, works by, 310

  French School, as shown at Hertford House, 307;
    its excellence, 327


  Gardiner Collection, 79

  _Geddes_, portrait of A. Plimer by, 246

  George III., patronises Humphrey, 252;
    patronises Engleheart, 255

  George IV., miniature of, 245

  _Gibson, Richard_, 32

  _Gibson, Penelope_, 32

  _Gibson, William_, 32

  _Goupey, Louis_, 32

  _Goupey, Joseph_, 32

  _Goupey, Bernard_, 32

  _Green, Mrs. Mary_, 32

  _Green, Robert_, 32

  _Gribelin, Isaac_, 74

  _Grimaldi, W._, copy by, 309

  _Guérin, J._, 355;
    his career, 355;
    his portrait of Kléber, 355

  Gunning, Elizabeth, Duchess of Hamilton, 222

  Gunning, Maria, Countess of Coventry, 222


  _Hall, P. A._, 80;
    his portrait of Marie Antoinette, 205;
    works by, 307;
    at Hertford House, 310;
    facility of his execution, 339;
    characteristics of his work, 339;
    his career, 340;
    high price fetched by his work, 340

  Hamilton, Lady Elizabeth, 222

  _Hargreaves, Thomas_, 267

  _Haughton_ (or _Houghton_), _Moses_, 32

  _Hayter, Charles_, 32, 271

  _Hayter, Sir George_, 32

  _Hazlitt, William_, 242

  _Heins, D._, 32

  _Heins, John_, 32

  _Henderson, R._, 57

  Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, by Petitot, 299

  Henry VII., by Hilliard, 286

  Henry VIII., by Holbein, 285;
    by Hilliard, 286

  Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, miniature of, 36;
    by I. Oliver, 288

  Henry, Duke of Gloucester, by S. Cooper, 314

  Hertford House Collection, _see_ Wallace

  Hibernian School of Manuscript, 53

  _Hiles, Bartram_, 35

  _Hilliard, Nicholas_, 32;
    his manner of painting, 39;
    birth and parentage, 127;
    employed by Elizabeth, _ibid._;
    his death, 131;
    examples of his work, _ibid._, 136-44, 286, 288, 297, 314;
    his method of painting and merits, 132-36

  _Hilliard, Lawrence_, 32, 128, 131

  _Holbein, Hans, the Younger_, the founder of miniature painting in England, visits Sir Thomas More, 113;
    portraits by him, 114;
    taken into the service of Henry VIII., _ibid._;
    collection of drawings and miniatures by, at Windsor, _ibid._, 118, 282;
    at Hertford House, 309;
    other works by, 121, 122

  Holmes, Sir Richard, on the Royal Collection, 281, 282, 287

  _Hone, Nathaniel_, R.A., 32, 84, 87

  _Hone, Horace_, A.R.A., 32, 87

  _Hopkins, Thomas_, 33

  _Hopkins, William_, 33

  _Horneband Family_, 102

  _Hoskins, John_, 32;
    his career, his pupils, 166;
    examples of work, 167;
    his merits as a miniature painter, 167, 168;
    his death, 169

  _Houin, C. J. B._, 345

  Howard, Katherine, 282

  _Hudson, Thomas_, Master of Cosway, 235

  Hughes, Madame, by S. Cooper, 297

  _Humphrey, Ozias_, R.A., his qualities as a miniature painter, 248;
    compared with Plimer and Smart, 251;
    his origin and career, a pupil of Collins, 251;
    goes to Italy, 252;
    and India, 251;
    his prices, 251;
    examples of his powers as a copyist at Knole, 255;
    beauty of his work, 292;
    his portrait of Queen Charlotte, 292

  _Hurter, the Brothers_, 80


  _Isabey, J. B._, his portrait of Napoleon I., 308;
    painter to successive monarchs, 356;
    examples at Hertford House, 310, 356;
    diverse nature of his work, 357, 358


  James II., by Cooper, 291;
    by Petitot, 206, 299, 300

  _Janet, François_, his family, 109, 331;
    his work at Windsor, 287;
    by members of his family, 333

  _Jansen, S. J._, 89

  Jennings, Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, by B. Lens, 319

  Jones Collection, 76-80, 148, 156, 193;
    index of portraits in, 320-24

  Joséphine, Empress, portraits of, 307


  Kells, book of, 53

  Kensington, Loan Collection at in 1865, 131, 143, 144


  _Lambert_, imitator of Petitot, 202

  _Laudin_, 70

  _Lavreince, Nicholas_, 343;
    his career and nature of his work, 344

  Leczinska, Marie, portrait of, 308

  _Legarré, Jules_, 207

  _Lens, Bernard_, 32;
    examples of, at Welbeck, 248

  _Lens, Andrew B._, 32

  _Lens, Peter P._, 32

  _Lens_ family, 218

  _Limousin, Lenard_, 70

  _Limousin, Jean_, 70

  _Limousin, Joseph_, 70

  _Limousin, François_, 70

  _Linnell, John_, 268

  _Liotard, J. E._, his work criticised, examples at Amsterdam and Paris, 218

  _Loggan, David_, portrait of Sir G. Verney, 314

  Louis XV., portrait of, 308

  Louis XVI., portrait of, 308

  Louis XVII., portrait of, 308

  Louis XVIII., portrait of, 308

  Louvre, enamels at, 73, 206;
    snuff-boxes, 80, 205;
    Le Noir Collection, 205;
    Liotards at, 218


  _Mansion, J._, works by, 310;
    at Hertford House, 313, 350

  Marie Louise, portraits of, 307

  Mary, Queen of Scots, portraits of, 109, 110, 143, 287

  _Massé, J. B._, 337

  Mayerne, Sir T. de, 75, 194

  Medici, Catherine de, 332

  _Mee, Mrs._, 268

  _Meyer, Jeremiah_, R.A., 87, 88, 315

  Milton, John, by S. Cooper, 297

  Miniatures, on the collecting of, 22;
    forgeries of, 27, 237;
    on the care and preservation of, 36-42;
    painted on several pieces of ivory, 41;
    origin of the art, 45-57;
    and of the term, 49;
    method of painting, 58-62

  Miniature painters, early, 97

  Miniature painting, its long history, 363;
    importance of perpetuating it, 364, 365

  Monck, George, by Cooper, 183, 291

  Monmouth, Duke of, by Cooper, 183, 291;
    by Dixon, 297

  _More, Sir A._, 105

  _Moser, G. M._, R.A., 33, 87

  _Moser, Joseph_, 33

  _Moser, Mary_, 33, 88

  _Mosnier, J. L._, 344

  _Muss, Charles_, 84


  Napoleonic period illustrated at Hertford House, 307

  _Netscher, Gaspar_, 218

  _Newton, Richard_, 33

  _Newton, Sir William J._, 32, 41, 271;
    the number of his works, _ibid._;
    example at Victoria and Albert Museum, 315

  _Nixon, James_, 221


  _O'Keefe, Daniel_, 33

  _O'Keefe, John_, 33

  _Oliver, Isaac_, 33;
    the Oliver family, 147;
    examples of Isaac Oliver's work, 149-160

  _Oliver, Peter_, 33;
    his parentage and family, 161;
    his copies ofold masters, 165;
    his death, 161;
    example at Victoria and Albert Museum, 314

  Olivers, the, in Burdett-Coutts Collection, 298, 299


  Pala d'oro, 69

  _Périn, Louis L._, 349

  _Perrot_, copyist of Petitot, 202

  _Petitot, Jean_, 24, 74, 75, 79;
    his origin, 194;
    his arrival in England, _ibid_;
    introduction to Charles I., and friendship with Van Dyck, 197;
    takes refuge in Paris, _ibid._;
    his numerous portraits of Louis XIV., 198;
    quits France and settles at Geneva, _ibid._;
    his death at Vevey, _ibid._;
    his copyists, 202;
    fine examples of his work, 206, 299;
    number of, in Jones Collection, 316

  _Petitot Fils_, 201;
    inferiority of his work to that of the elder Petitot, _ibid._

  _Plimer, Andrew_, 33, 245;
    parentage, 33, 245;
    death, 246;
    his portrait in the Scottish National Gallery, 246;
    his group of the Rushout girls, 246;
    examples of, at Victoria and Albert Museum, 314

  _Plimer, Nathaniel_, 33, 245;
    exhibits at Royal Academy, 245

  _Plott, John_, 87

  Plumley Collection at Victoria and Albert Museum, 315

  Pompadour, portrait of, 308

  _Pope, Alexander_, miniature painter and poet, 33

  Portland, Duke of, his collection, 297;
    Coopers in, 298

  Portsmouth, Duchess of, by Cooper, 297

  Powis, earl of, collection of, 247

  _Prewitt, W._, 84

  Primitifs Français, Exhibition of, 332, 334

  Propert, Dr., on forgeries, 236, 237

  _Prudhon, P. P._, 350


  _Quaglia, F._, 358


  Radnor, Earl of, collection of, 241

  _Raeburn, Sir Henry_, 268

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, and his son at Belvoir, 298

  Ramolino, Madame, portrait of, 307

  _Reymond, Pierre_, 70

  _Reynolds, Sir Joshua_, P.R.A., referred to, 235, 251, 255

  _Robertson, Andrew_, his origin, 33, 263;
    his varied talents, 263;
    comes to London and makes B. West his patron, 264;
    characteristics of his work, 264;
    his death and character, 264

  _Robertson, Archibald_, 33

  _Robertson, Alexander_, 33

  _Robertson, Mrs. A._, 33

  _Robertson, Walter_, 34

  _Robertson, Charles_, 34

  Rome, King of, portrait of, 308

  _Romney, George_, goes to Italy with Humphrey, 252

  _Ross, H._, 34, 276

  _Ross, Mrs._, 34

  _Ross, H., Junr._, 34

  _Ross, Miss Maria_, 34

  _Ross, Miss Magdalene_, 34

  _Ross, Sir William Charles_, R.A., 34;
    his birth and parentage, 275;
    his precocity, 275;
    is patronised by Royalty, 275;
    the great number of his works, 275;
    characteristics of his style, 276;
    many examples in the Royal Collection, _ibid._, 292;
    examples of, at Victoria and Albert Museum, 315

  _Rouvier, M._, 346

  Rouvigny, Rachel de, her portrait, 197

  Rupert, Prince, by Dixon, 297

  Rushout, the Misses, Plimer's miniature of, 246, 247

  Rutland, Duke of, his collection, 298


  _Sadler, Thomas_, 34

  _Sadler, William_, 34

  _Saint, D._, 359

  _Saunders, George L._, 34

  _Saunders, Joseph_, 34

  _Saunders, R._, 34

  Schreiber Collection, 89

  Seymour, Jane, by Hilliard, 286

  Sheepshanks Gallery, _see_ Victoria and Albert

  _Shelley, Samuel_, 221

  Sheridan, Mrs., 251

  _Sherlock, William_, 34

  Shipley's Drawing School, 235, 247

  _Sicardi_, or _Sicard, L._, 345;
    charm of his colouring, 345;
    example at Hertford House, 345

  Sidney, Sir Philip, by I. Oliver, 288

  _Singleton, Joseph_, 34

  _Singleton, William_, 34

  _Smart, Anthony_, 35

  _Smart, John_, 34;
    his birth and career, 247;
    goes to India, 247;
    qualities of his art, 248

  _Smart, John, junr._, 34, 247

  _Smart, Samuel Paul_, 34

  _Smith Thomas Correggio_, 34

  _Smith, John Raphael_, 34

  Snuff-boxes, 79;
    their use in the eighteenth century, 205

  _Soutter, J. G._, imitator of Petitot, 202


  _Teerling, Levyn_, 102

  _Thorburn, Robert_, A.R.A., his method of painting large works on ivory, 41;
    his rapid rise, 271;
    his method of making cabinet pictures, 275

  _Toutin, Jean_, 74, 193

  _Toutin, Henri_, 75


  Unwin, Mrs., _see_ Cobden

  Upsala, MSS. preserved at, 57


  _Van Cleef, J._, 105

  Van der Doort's catalogue, 285, 286, 288

  _Van Dyck, Sir A._, his friendship with Petitot, 197

  Victoria and Albert Museum, enamels at, 73, 74, 76, 93;
    snuff-boxes at, 205;
    miniatures at, 313


  Waddesdon Collection, 73, 74

  Wallace Collection, miniatures in, 304-313;
    snuff-boxes, 79

  Walpole, Horace, his criticisms, 183, 299

  Welbeck Collection, 297

  _West, Benjamin_, P.R.A., a patron of Robertson, 264;
    his influence at Court, 264

  Windsor, collection at, its extent, 282, 291;
    Olivers at, 149, 150, 165, 288

  _Wood, William_, 267

  _Wright, Mrs._, _see_ Biffin


  _Zincke, C. F._, 83, 300

       *       *       *       *       *



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