Isabella Beetham (c.1753-1825)


Isabella Beetham began cutting silhouettes to support her young family. She was fortunate to be able to take painting lessons during the early 1780s from John Smart, the acclaimed miniaturist. Her husband meantime was busy dabbling in all sorts from acting on stage to building a new-fangled washing machine.

This example of Mrs Beetham’s work showing a young lady with long free curls wearing a dress with a drawstring neckline has been reverse painted on convex glass within a verre églomisé border and is backed with wax. It is housed in the original turned pearwood frame backed with the artist’s trade label no. 5.

The silhouette has slight blistering to the paint on the face and is a little loose in the frame though that won’t be an issue once the silhouette is hung.

Item Ref. 6602

Size: framed, 142 x 133mm (5¾ x 5")

Provenance: Diana Joll collection