Pretty in Pink

William Prewett (fl. 1735-1750)


Dating to around 1740, this vibrant and enchanting portrait shows a blue-eyed child with brown shoulder-length curls wearing a pink dress with a white stomacher, the bodice and sleeves trimmed with white lace. Sadly the child’s details are unknown though it is almost certainly a little boy as pink was at that time perceived as a strong masculine colour.

Enamel on copper, the portrait is signed on the verso: W Prewett pinx and is set within a gilt-metal mount. There is a light surface scratch at 9 o’clock; otherwise the portrait is in excellent condition.

Having initially trained under Christian Friedrich Zincke, William Prewett was one of the earliest English-born portrait enamellists working in London. His enamels are noteworthy for their striking use of colour which, due to the enamelling technique, remains fresh and unfaded. He had an impressive clientele that included royalty but examples of children are particularly rare.

Item Ref. 6732

Size: framed, 53 x 46mm

Provenance: The Starr Foundation Inc., Kansas City; Sotheby's, 15 March 1982, lot 63