The Babet Cap

John Field (1772-1848)


Towards the end of John Field’s long and successful career as a silhouette artist, he painted more often on card as opposed to plaster. This gave him the opportunity to experiment with paint colours and tones as in this example of a mature lady in a Babet cap and lace-trimmed pèlerine. His eye for detail had certainly not diminished and, if anything, his use of more subtle colours enabled him to bring out more of the costume details.

Painted using watercolour on card, greenish yellow and Chinese white have been used for the highlights. The profile is signed ‘Field 2 Strand’ under the bust-line.

The card has some light age-darkening but the overall condition is fine. It is set in what appears to be the original papier-mâché frame with an acorn hanger.

Item Ref. 5887

Provenance: Bill Fox-Smith collection