Although this lady’s dress with its ‘imbecile’ sleeves has been painted with broad brush strokes, her tall cap with its ribbon bow has been painstakingly rendered in light shades of grey to convey the delicacy and detail of the lacework. This style of profile painting has been associated with George Atkinson who was based in Brighton during the late 1820s when this was painted.
The faint outline of an abandoned profile can be seen on the reverse side of the card along with a later partly obscured inscription that names the sitter as Ann Thomas, wife of Nicholas Boyes?
Biographical details for George Atkinson are scanty. He was born in Lincoln around 1785, married a girl from Durham and fathered six children. As a young man he travelled around as an itinerant artist but by 1817 he had settled in Brighton where he worked for about ten years. By the time of the 1841 census, he and his family were living at 1 London Street in Hackney. By then his children were aged between 8 and 24 with two of the boys having followed in their father’s footsteps by becoming artists.
The silhouette is set in a traditional papier-mâché frame with a floral hanger. The frame has lost some of its prongs on the back though it remains perfectly stable to hang.
Item Ref. 6537
Size: framed, 142 x 121mm (5⅝ x 4¾")