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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.238-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

James II (ruled 1685-88), of the House of Stuart, was a staunch Roman Catholic whose religious views clashed with those of his parliament. Many in England and Scotland supported James' son-in-law, the Dutch Protestant Prince, William of Orange, who invaded England in 1688. James was defeated and lived out his life in exile in France.

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.
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Physical description

Rectangular portrait miniature of James II, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, 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

'James 2nd &c / from an excellent original / in Holyrood Palace by / Sir Godfrey Kneller - / painted in Enamel by / DB Murphy / Edinb 1804'

Dimensions

Depth: 1.74 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 James 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. 42E, pp. 89-92. ISBN 0856675334.

Labels and date

James II
1804

James II (ruled 1685–88) was a staunch Roman Catholic
whose religious views clashed with those of his
parliament. Many in England and Scotland supported
James’s son-in-law, the Dutch Protestant prince, William
of Orange, who invaded England in 1688. James was
defeated and lived out his life in exile in France.

Scotland; Denis Brownell Murphy (about 1745–1842),
after Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723)
Enamel on copper in original papier-mâché frame
with gilded copper-alloy mounts
Inscribed on backing paper ‘James 2nd &c from an
excellent original in Holyrood Palace by Sir Godfrey Kneller
painted in Enamel by DB Murphy Edinb 1804’
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.238-2008 [2009]

Production Note

Portrait after Godfrey Kneller.

Materials

Enamel; Copper; Papier-mâché; Ormolu

Techniques

Painting (image-making); Framing

Subjects depicted

Male; Monarch

Categories

Enamels; Portraits; Scotland

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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