‘Pale & Interesting’

Miss Hale


This cabinet-sized portrait miniature of Mrs Denison was exhibited at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition of 1815 by Miss Hale as an Honorary Member. Set against a peachy background, Mrs Denison wears a white empire-line dress trimmed with matching lace. She has a small pin on her corsage and a quizzing glass on a gold guard chain tucked into her waistband. Her auburn curls peep out from under a close lace cap.

Despite some loss of definition and fading to the background colouring, the portrait is in good condition. It is signed on the reverse – Mrs Denison / by Miss Hale / Honorary. Miss Hale is erroneously listed as Miss Hales in the Royal Academy catalogue; in all probability she is the Miss Mary Anne Hale who subsequently exhibited at the Royal Academy 1822-1825 under her maiden name and again between 1826-1828 under her married name, Havell. Mary Anne married the topographical artist George Havell in 1825 and may have emigrated with him to India.

The portrait is presented with a gilt metal mount within the original papier-mâché frame with a decorative surround and large leaf hanger.

Item Ref. 7143

Size: framed, 222 x 204mm

Exhibited: Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 1815

Literature: Miniatures: Dictionary & Guide / Foskett, p.554