Florence Upton

Nathan Cooper Branwhite


Finely painted in monochrome, this portrait has a wealth of detail and tonal depth. The sitter, Florence Upton, is wearing a dark dress with demi-gigot sleeves and lace cuffs and collar, a fringed shawl over her shoulders. It is though her jewellery, especially the heavy guard chain, and her ribbon-trimmed hat that draw the eye. The portrait is signed bottom right ‘Branwhite 1831’.

Florence was born in 1769 in Pucklechurch in Gloucestershire to Thomas and Jane Smyth. In 1799, aged 30, she married John Upton; they had one son. Florence died in Somerset at the age of 83.

The portrait is in fine condition and is set in a period maple frame with a gilt slip. The frame has a couple of old losses to the veneer on the corners.

The son of a Suffolk poet, Nathan Cooper Branwhite (1775-1867) specialised in small-scale portraiture. A member of the Bristol School of artists he exhibited portrait miniatures at the Royal Academy. He was also a stipple engraver. His work is judged to have ‘considerable vitality and character’. The V & A have two monochrome wash portraits by Branwhite in their collection.

Item Ref. 6101

Size: framed, 359 x 322mm (14⅛ x 12⅝")