Georgian Irish Couple

Charles Robertson

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Miniature painting was a lucrative business during the last quarter of the eighteenth century so it’s no surprise perhaps that bitter rivalries arose between artists. Such was clearly the case in October 1779 when Irish artist Charles Robertson resorted to advertising in Saunders News-Letter to reassure his friends and the public that, despite “some evil-minded Persons” having reported “with an intention to injure” that he was dead, that he was indeed “living and in good Health”, ready and willing to take on commissions.

The son of a Dublin jeweller, Robertson was trained from an early age to create hair designs possibly for portrait miniatures painted by his elder brother Walter. Clearly a precocious child, he was only fifteen when he exhibited his first miniature painting.

This¬†adeptly painted pair of portraits is testament to the finesse and polish of Robertson’s more mature style. Painted around 1800, they depict a prospering couple: the gentleman with his grey hair and soft blue eyes gazing confidently out; his finely featured wife wearing white and with her brown hair loosely curled and neatly braided.

The portraits are presented in the original gold frames that are enclosed on the reverse. They are both in excellent condition.

Item Ref. 6082

Size: framed, 65 x 51mm + bail