Wispy Curls

Henry Jacob Burch


This young grey-eyed lady, possibly still in her teens, is wearing a simple cross-over or wrap style dress with a long sleeves and a frilled neckline. Her only adornment is a narrow gold sash on the waist and gold earrings. Her hair is fashionably cropped with wispy curls falling over her forehead. The sunset colours of the background are typical of Burch’s work.

Dating to the 1790s, the portrait is set in the original gold frame that is enclosed reverse.

New research has revealed that Henry Jacob Burch was born in 1762 and so was seventeen years old when he entered the Royal Academy Schools. He married Elizabeth Beresford in December 1784 at the Paris Church of St Marylebone. The land tax records of 1789 list him as a seal engraver working with an apprentice in Soho so miniature painting was probably not his main source of income. He exhibited miniature portraits between 1787 and 1834.

APHA Registered

Item Ref. 7298

Size: framed, 80 x 66mm + bail

Provenance: UK Private Collection