A Distinguished Profile

John Miers (1758-1821)


John Miers Jun. first advertised “profile shades in miniature” in his home town of Leeds in 1781 at a cost of 2s 6d each. These were secondary to his main business which was preparing and selling paints. But such was the success of his profile painting, that four years later he auctioned off his stock of paints and utensils and became a full-time profilist travelling to major towns and cities to extend his clientele.

By 1791, around the time that this profile was painted, Miers was based in London working from a studio on the Strand. He was by now employing other artists to work alongside him including John Field who excelled at bronzing silhouettes.

Painted in plaster, this silhouette shows a distinguished gentleman in a wig with a bound Ramilles plait and wearing a frilled chemise. It is set with an attractive verre eglomise surround in the original pearwood frame and is backed with the artist’s trade label no. 11.

Apart from a tiny paint smudge on the front bust-line and minor loss to the outer edge of the verre eglomise, the silhouette is in fine condition.

Item Ref. 5891

Size: framed, 183 x 151mm (7¼ x 6⅛")

Provenance: Bill Fox-Smith collection