Family Portrait

Attributed to Samuel Shelley


Samuel Shelley (1756-1808) is well known for his romantic portraits of ladies and children and was one of only a few miniature artists that enjoyed painting portrait groups. This enchanting grouping shows a mother with her two young children, likely to be twins. One appears to be swaddled in blue whilst there is a hint of pink on the other child though the association of blue for boys and pink for girls was not in popular use until the late 19th century.

The mother, in a gold dress and white fichu, has an eye-catching jewelled diadem or tiara in her curled hair denoting status and wealth. Shelley was a fashionable London artist and his studio attracted many aristocratic clients as well as theatrical and society figures.

The portrait is set in a gold frame that is glazed on the reverse to reveal brown silk.

Item Ref. JH002

Size: to view, 87 x 69mm (3⅜ x 2¾")