Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a Woman

late 1790s

Andrew Plimer

(British, 1763-1837)

Watercolor on ivory in a gold frame with glazed reverse

Framed: 8.5 x 7.2 cm (3 3/8 x 2 13/16 in.); Sight: 8 x 6.5 cm (3 1/8 x 2 9/16 in.)

The Edward B. Greene Collection 1941.561

Location

Description

Sons of a clockmaker, Andrew Plimer and his old brother ran off to live with Gypsies for two years before settling down in London. Andrew was a valet for portrait and miniature painter Richard Cosway and Nathaniel was a servant for the enamelist Henry Bone. Andrew assimilated Cosway’s airy execution and adapted his linear brushwork that leaves much of the bare ivory visible. He also employed Cosway's use of large, expressive eyes that made his miniatures appear soulfully elegant, earning him high praise. Andrew set up his own studio by 1786 and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy of Arts through 1830. Andrew’s works fall into two phases. In the first, his sitters appear more naturalistically rendered than those painted after about 1789. During the earlier period he frequently included his initials on the front of the miniature, followed by a date; he did not sign or date works in the second phase. Furthermore, he reduced his palette and sitters share many visual characteristics; in particular, his women have elongated necks, long noses, and large eyes.

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