Regency Grace

John Field


This profile, taken around 1805, shows a graceful young Regency lady in an understated empire-line dress. Her hair is upswept and secured with a comb, with stylised curls framing her face.

The silhouette resides in the original papier-mâché frame with an ornate surround and leaf hanger as made by John Miers’s son. It is backed with a fragment of the artist’s trade label that is now protected by an acetate covering. Under magnification, there is evidence of craquelure to the hair comb though this is not visible to the naked eye. Otherwise the condition is fine.

The profile is painted on plaster and has been neatly bronzed by the master profilist John Field (1772-1848) who worked alongside John Miers in his studio on The Strand. Miers only produced plain profiles whereas Field excelled at gilding; he painted his finest and most attractive profiles during the early 1800s. The two men enjoyed a partnership and friendship of long standing that continued until Miers died in 1821. The business was then willed jointly to John Field and Miers’s son, William, but the dynamics had clearly been altered too much as within a few years the business filed for bankruptcy. Field continued to paint profiles during the 1830s but from a studio that he now shared with his own son.

Item Ref. 7358

Size: framed, 151 x 126mm (6 x 5”)

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