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Miniature

Miniature

  • Place of origin:

    Scotland (made)

  • Date:

    1804 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Brownwell Murphy, Denis (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamel on copper, and original papier-mâché frame with ormolu mounts.

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.240-2008

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Charles Edward Stuart (1720-88) was the last serious Stuart claimant to the English throne. He staged an unsuccessful rebellion against George II in 1745-6. He was later romanticised in literature and legend as Bonnie Prince Charlie.

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

Enamel portrait miniature depicting The Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart or 'Bonnie' Prince Charlie. The sitter is depicted in Stuart tartan with blue velvet tam, white bow, blue sash and Star and Order of the Garter. The frame is papier-mâché with ormolu mounts in the shape of shells.

Place of Origin

Scotland (made)

Date

1804 (made)

Artist/maker

Brownwell Murphy, Denis (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Enamel on copper, and original papier-mâché frame with ormolu mounts.

Dimensions

Depth: 1.4 cm, Height: 16.7 cm, Width: 14.6 cm

Object history note

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

Descriptive line

Enamel miniature on copper of 'Bonnie' Prince Charlie, in an original papier-mâché frame with ormolu mounts, 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. 42G, pp. 89-92. ISBN 0856675334.

Labels and date

The Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’
1804

Charles Edward Stuart (1720–88), the last serious Stuart
claimant to the English and Scottish thrones, staged
an unsuccessful rebellion against George II in 1745–6.
He was later romanticised in literature and legend as
Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Scotland; Denis Brownell Murphy (about 1745–1842),
after an unknown version
Enamel on copper in original papier-mâché frame
with gilded copper-alloy mounts
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.240-2008 [2009]

Production Note

Others in set signed and dated.

Materials

Enamel; Copper; Papier-mâché; Ormolu

Techniques

Painting (image-making); Framing

Subjects depicted

Male; Order of the Garter; Tartan

Categories

Enamels; Portraits; Scotland

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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