A Good Regency Period Watercolour Portrait Miniature on Ivory of a Gentleman Dated to 1820

Origin: English
Period: Regency
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1820
In Frame: 7 inches x 5.75 inches
The Watercolour: 4.25 x 3 inches

Painted in watercolours the early nineteenth century portrait miniature on ivory showing a gentleman in typical high-born Regency attire facing dexter wearing a cravat and midnight blue thick buttoned overcoat with thick fawn fur collar survives from the month of June in 1820 England and signed M.H.(?) Knight.

The painting benefits from being presented framed and glazed though it is not the original frame. The condition of the picture is very good whilst the frame has a coarse, distressed feel. Inside there is a loose backing paper that reads in handwritten ink; “Painted by M.H.? Knight, June – 1820 -”. It is possible the first initials of the painters name reads MN or even WN but the rest of it is without question.

The year of 1820 saw George IV of the United Kingdom ascends the Throne on the death at Windsor Castle of his father George III (after 59 years on the throne), ending the period known as the English Regency which began in 1811. The month of June in 1820, when this picture was painted, saw the Pains and Penalties Bill put before Parliament to deprive Caroline of Brunswick, George IV's wife, of the title of Queen Consort. The bill is withdrawn after her public trial.

The palette of the work is subdued yet striking including whites, greys, and blacks; with only two dashes of prominent colour, and this, combined with the fact that the picture is on ivory, some of it unpainted, gives it a sensitive and otherworldly quality. The sitter has the look of a man involved in the arts, whether than be in art, theatre or the written word and also has some resemblance to the Prince Regent.

A well-executed example of small portraiture with an ethereal quality, which when looked upon, is hard to shake off.