A Small 18thC Oil Portrait of a Young Girl

Origin: Unknown
Period: George III
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1740-60
Canvas Height: 4.5 inches
Canvas Width: 4 inches

Painted in oils on canvas and then laid onto board, the fragment, possibly cut down from a larger composition, showing a full-faced and healthy looking young girl with golden auburn hair, red rosy cheeks, full lips and a kind and affable expression survives from Georgian period England.

Although fairly dirty and in unrestored condition, the quality of the painting is still clearly accomplished. There is a commensurate amount of craquelure across the canvas with small areas of flaking to the whole and she remains unframed at present. It could therefore be cleaned and framed if so desired, but we here like to leave things untouched and she proves very decorative.

As this is probably a fragment from a larger work, the fact that we don’t know what composition this child was part of formerly makes the picture all the more intriguing and intimate. Clearly the larger composition was more than likely of a more considerable size, and the colours, style and condition point to quite an early work. The swirling ochre and deep inky black background sees the illuminated child’s face emerge as though in a darkened room.

A very charming and bewitching little portrait of a sitter who was surely just as charming.