A Sophisticated Lady

Charles Shirreff


A finely painted portrait of a lady wearing a stylish white dress with a blue ribbon sash and a ruffled neckline over a white fichu, the long narrow sleeves capped with black lace. She has gold drop earrings and her long powdered hair is curled and dressed with a white bandeau.

The portrait is set in a gold fausse montre frame with a narrow border of plaited ash blonde hair with a buckle. The reverse of the frame is glazed to reveal dark hair surmounted with monogrammed initials within a blue enamel border. Excellent condition.

Charles Shirreff (1749-1829) was the youngest son of a wealthy Scottish wine merchant. He went deaf at the age of three but was subsequently taught sign language and how to speak. Accompanied by his father he travelled to London in 1768 where he entered the Royal Academy Schools winning a silver medal for drawing. Shirreff went on to become a successful miniaturist and in 1778 obtained permission to travel to India. This ambition was not fulfilled though until 1797 by which time his father had died so he travelled alone. India suited him and his studio prospered but he decided to return to England in 1809 where he married and continued to paint and exhibit.

Item Ref. PA102

Size: framed, 71 x 60mm + hanger