Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Miniature

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.237-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England in 1653. At his death in 1658, his son briefly took on the role. The monarchy resumed with the accession of Charles II, son of the executed king Charles I, in 1660. Charles II pursued a policy of religious and politcal tolerance.

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 Charles II, after Pieter Nason, wearing armour and a white lace cravat. 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

Signed, dated and inscribed 'Charles 2nd &c& / from a fine picture in the / possession of Mr. Anderson - / done in Enamel by / DB Murphy / Edinbr. 1804'
On the backing paper

Dimensions

Depth: 1.72 cm, Height: 17.8 cm, Width: 14.65 cm

Object history note

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

Descriptive line

Enamel miniature on copper of Charles II, 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. 42D, pp. 89-92. ISBN 0856675334.

Labels and date

Charles II
1804

Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of England in
1653. At his death in 1658, his son briefly took on the role.
The monarchy resumed with the accession of Charles II
in 1660, who pursued a policy of religious and political
tolerance.

Scotland; Denis Brownell Murphy (about 1745–1842),
after Pieter Nason (1612–90)
Enamel on copper in original papier-mâché frame
with gilded copper-alloy mounts
Inscribed on backing paper ‘Charles 2nd &c&
from a fine picture in the possession of Mr. Anderson –
done in enamel by DB Murphy’
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.237-2008 [2009]

Production Note

Portrait after Pieter Nason.

Materials

Enamel; Copper; Papier-mâché; Ormolu

Techniques

Painting (image-making); Framing

Subjects depicted

Armour; Male; Monarch

Categories

Enamels; Portraits; Scotland

Collection

Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.