Silhouette in Miniature

John Miers


This delightfully small silhouette painted on ivory displays nice detailing around the lady’s upswept curled hair and to the frilled collar on the back of her dress. It is signed ‘Miers’ under the termination.

The silhouette is set with a narrow verre églomisé border within an ebonised frame. The reverse retains the remnants of the artist’s trade label no. 11 (‘Burnished gold’) that was in use between 1791 and 1809.

Although he never trained professionally, John Miers (1758-1821) is considered to be the finest of the eighteenth century silhouettists. His career began in Leeds when he took over his father’s business as a coach-painter & gilder. Having recently married, Miers was keen to expand the business and, in addition to preparing and selling paints, he advertised profile shades in miniature for 2s. 6d. each. He clearly excelled at this from the start as within a few years this had become his main line of business and prompted Miers to move his family first to Edinburgh and eventually to London where he ran a busy and successful studio on the Strand.

Item Ref. 6212

Size: framed, 100 x 86mm (4 x 3⅜")