Misses Annabella and Mary Craufurd (mistakenly Crawford), afterwards Countess Lockhart and Mrs Palmer thumbnail 1
Misses Annabella and Mary Craufurd (mistakenly Crawford), afterwards Countess Lockhart and Mrs Palmer thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Portrait Miniatures, Room 90a, The International Music and Art Foundation Gallery

Misses Annabella and Mary Craufurd (mistakenly Crawford), afterwards Countess Lockhart and Mrs Palmer

Portrait Miniature
1782 (painted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Shelley was highly influenced by Sir Joshua Reynolds, who encouraged young artists to aspire to history painting, i.e., paintings of grand classical and religious subjects. Shelley also aspired to be more than a mere portrait painter, and hoped to demonstrate his learning, his invention and his originality through painting subject pictures. He was probably also encouraged by ventures such as the Shakespeare Gallery and Macklin's Poets Gallery, both of which commissioned oil paintings based on subjects from Shakespeare’s plays and English poetry. But the public was only interested in portrait miniatures, usually of loved ones, and Shelley failed to find a market for his subject miniatures. He was, however, a highly successful portraitist. He was employed at the court of George III and Queen Charlotte, and was ranked among the most well-known and fashionable miniaturists of his time. Many of his portraits were conventional heads painted in an oval. But some, such as this portrait of the Craufurd sisters, show the continued influence of Reynolds, by imitating both the complexity of composition and the rich colours of oil portraits.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Watercolour on ivory
Brief Description
Portrait miniature of Misses Annabella and Mary Craufurd (mistakenly Crawford), afterwards Countess Lockhart and Mrs Palmer, by Samuel Shelley. Great Britain, 1782.
Physical Description
Double portrait miniature of two young ladies wearing powdered wigs. The lady on the viewer's left holds a four-leaved piece of music with both hands, bearing an inscription alongside the date and artist's name.
Dimensions
  • Height: 81mm
  • Width: 65mm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
Thou hast run/awa frae me/Mary/1782/S.Shelley/pt [pinxit] (Inscribed on the sheet of music depicted)
Credit line
Given by Mrs F. Moeller
Subjects depicted
Summary
Shelley was highly influenced by Sir Joshua Reynolds, who encouraged young artists to aspire to history painting, i.e., paintings of grand classical and religious subjects. Shelley also aspired to be more than a mere portrait painter, and hoped to demonstrate his learning, his invention and his originality through painting subject pictures. He was probably also encouraged by ventures such as the Shakespeare Gallery and Macklin's Poets Gallery, both of which commissioned oil paintings based on subjects from Shakespeare’s plays and English poetry. But the public was only interested in portrait miniatures, usually of loved ones, and Shelley failed to find a market for his subject miniatures. He was, however, a highly successful portraitist. He was employed at the court of George III and Queen Charlotte, and was ranked among the most well-known and fashionable miniaturists of his time. Many of his portraits were conventional heads painted in an oval. But some, such as this portrait of the Craufurd sisters, show the continued influence of Reynolds, by imitating both the complexity of composition and the rich colours of oil portraits.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1925, London: Board of Education, 1926.
Collection
Accession Number
P.7-1925

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record createdJanuary 6, 2003
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