Presenting an exceptional oil on brass portrait miniature, circa 1690- 1700, probably French. The work is carried out with remarkable skill, both in detail and sensitivity, showing the hand of a master miniaturist.
The young gentleman depicted is an aristocrat, wearing a crimson robe with gold trim. His costume and large wig identify him as a high ranked aristocrat or possibly nobility (hence the current phrase "big wig" connoting someone of power and prestige).
This is a true miniature, designed for portability and not merely a smaller portrait intended to be hung or displayed on an easel. It measures a compact 3 1/4 by 2 3/4 inches, making the detail and character captured truly impressive.
After the early 1700s, portrait miniatures were created of watercolor on ivory or paper or in enamel, making oil painted miniatures comparatively rare. There is one small loss, but the rest of the work is in remarkable condition, considering its age of 300 years. The current frame is modern but works well for display. The last picture is of the back of the work, with traces of the modern masking tape previously used to secure it.
The photographs do not do justice to the incredible detail in this piece, where individual hairs in the wig are depicted. Serious inquiries are welcome.
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