Feeling Blue

Nathaniel Plimer, attrib.


Set against a grey-clouded sky, this young lady is shown wearing a traditional white gown with a fichu fastened with a blue ribbon bow to match the colour of her eyes. Her powdered curls are covered with a mob cap with a trailing veil decorated with a blue pearl-studded band.

The lady is now only known by her initials, WRL, that appear in monogram on the reverse of the gold frame. The miniature can stylistically be attributed to the hand of Nathaniel Plimer (1757-1822),  the eldest son of a Shropshire clockmaker who, along with his brother, ran off as a youth to join a travelling menagerie. The boys painted the vans and the scenery and were not above stealing decorators’ paints as and when they could! Finding themselves in Buckingham after a couple of years on the road, they left the troupe to walk to London. There Nathaniel initially worked for the enamellist Henry Bone and took painting lessons alongside his brother. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1787. Nathaniel is said to have been ‘a man of the most violent and ungovernable temper, giving way at times to terrible outbursts of violence’ (Williamson 1903).

In fine condition, the miniature is set in a gold frame with a brooch pin clasp. The frame has a scratch to the reverse but is otherwise fine.

Item Ref. 9114J

Size: framed, 60 x 49mm