A Mid-19thC Unfinished English School Portrait of a Young Lady

Origin: English
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860-70
Height: 14”
Width: 12”

The unfinished head and shoulders portrait of a young and beautiful British girl, with an amicable disposition, with dark hair and rose-tinted cheeks, the whole on a moody earthy ground, painted in oils on canvas and remaining unframed and surviving from the latter half of the nineteenth century.

The picture is in un-restored condition and we love it as it is. There are no major losses and the canvas has a small amount of craquelure to its surface, with marks and dirt to the surface remaining uncleaned; please refer to the photographs for a visual reference.

As with the ‘selfie’ today, portraits were also a chance for more self-conscious sitters to be depicted in the latest fashions. In the eighteenth century, the upper classes entered a new era of prosperity. No longer the preserve of royalty, commissioned portraits, of oneself or one’s ancestors, became a coveted symbol of wealth and status which continued even more so in the nineteenth century. The portraits took pride of place in the home, or were given to others as gifts.

We love unfinished works as they always pose the question of, why?