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Miniature

  • Place of origin:

    Scotland (made)

  • Date:

    1804 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Murphy, Denis Brownell (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamel on copper, papier-mâché and ormolu frame

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.235-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

James I (1566-1625), son of Mary, Queen of Scots, was King of Scotland and England, suceeding Elizabeth I to the English throne. He ordered the translation of the Latin Bible known as the Authorised or King James Bible.

In the 17th century, new techniques of painting enamels allowed delicate portraits resembling tiny oil paintings to be created. These enamel miniatures were first fashionable in continental Europe, but were particularly in vogue in Britain from the 1720s to 1760s. Denis Brownell Murphy was born in Dublin around 1745. During his long career he worked in both England and Scotland. Brownell Murphy painted a set of enamel miniatures in Scotland in 1804, taking as his source portraits which were in Scottish collections at the time. He chose images illustrating the lineage of the House of Stuart, beginning with Mary Queen of Scots.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

Rectangular portrait miniature of James I in grey with a plume in his hat and wearing the Order of Saint George and the Dragon. The miniature is enamel on copper and the frame is papier-mâché with ormolu mounts in the shape of shells and a crown.

Place of Origin

Scotland (made)

Date

1804 (made)

Artist/maker

Murphy, Denis Brownell (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Enamel on copper, papier-mâché and ormolu frame

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed 'James 1st of England / and 6th of Scotland / from the original at / Hamilton Palace by / Cornelius Jansen - / Painted in Enamel by / DB Murphy / Edinbr. 1804'
On the backing paper

Dimensions

Height: 16.5 cm, Width: 14.65 cm, Depth: 1.8 cm

Object history note

Provenance: Johnson, Walker and Tolhurst, London, 1979.

Descriptive line

Enamel miniature on copper of James I, in a papier-mâché and ormolu frame, Scotland, 1804, by Denis Brownwell Murphy.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Coffin, Sarah and Bodo Hofstetter. Portrait Miniatures in Enamel. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd. in association with the Gilbert Collection, 2000. 168 p., ill. Cat. no. 42B, pp. 89-92. ISBN 0856675334.

Labels and date

James I
1804

James I (1566–1625), son of Mary, Queen of Scots, was
king of Scotland and England, succeeding Elizabeth I
to the English throne. He ordered the translation of
the Latin Bible known as the Authorised or King
James Version.

Scotland; Denis Brownell Murphy (about 1745–1842),
after Cornelius Jansen (1593–1661)
Enamel on copper in original papier-mâché frame
with gilded copper-alloy mounts
Inscribed on backing paper ‘James 1st of England
and 6th of Scotland from the original at Hamilton Palace
by Cornelius Jansen – Painted in Enamel
by DB Murphy Edinbr 1804’
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.235-2008 [2009]

Production Note

Portrait after Cornelius Jansen.

Materials

Enamel; Copper; Papier-mâché; Ormolu

Techniques

Painting (image-making); Framing

Subjects depicted

Male; Plume; Monarch

Categories

Enamels; Portraits; Scotland

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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