Brown-Eyed Girl

Charles Hayter, circa 1800


Charles Hayter’s miniatures were critically acclaimed during his lifetime as ‘good likenesses’ and this portrait certainly has the air of a truthful likeness. Set against a blue and brown hatched background, the unknown lady is wearing a pale blue cross-over gown, her brown hair curled and arranged in an elaborate top knot with close curls on the nape of her neck.

The miniature is in excellent condition and resides in the original gold frame that is glazed on the back to reveal a generous lock of chestnut brown hair laid on opalescent glass with a small band of seed pearls and gold wire.

London-born, Charles Hayter (1761-1835) exhibited miniatures and crayon portraits between 1786 and 1832, primarily at the Royal Academy. He taught perspective to George IV’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, and wrote An Introduction to Perspective that ran to numerous editions. Despite going deaf in later life, he continued to paint to within a year of his death. His obituary described him as a ‘kind-hearted, intelligent and upright man’. The V & A Museum has an album containing 440 of his pencil studies for portrait miniatures as well two very fine miniatures by him.

Item Ref. 6838

Size: framed, 79 x 69mm