Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Portrait miniature - The French actress Mlle. Anne Francoise Hippolyte Mars
  • The French actress Mlle. Anne Francoise Hippolyte Mars
    Dumont, François, born 1778 - died 1847
  • Enlarge image

The French actress Mlle. Anne Francoise Hippolyte Mars

  • Object:

    Portrait miniature

  • Place of origin:

    France (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1798 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dumont, François, born 1778 - died 1847 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour on ivory

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with funds from the Murray Bequest

  • Museum number:

    P.49-1935

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case RMC, shelf 9, box i

Miniature painting originally referred to the art of painting in watercolour on vellum (fine animal skin). It developed in the early 16th century out of the tradition of illuminating manuscripts (hand-written books). In England, miniature was predominantly a portrait art. It was practised by specialist miniature painters, such as Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619). On the Continent, miniature painting as a portrait art had a few great practitioners, such as the French painter Jean Clouet (1516?-1572). But not even Clouet was a specialist. Like Hans Holbein, he worked both in miniature and in large in oil.

In France, it was not until the 1770s that a notable school of portrait miniaturists emerged. It was only then that they were able to rival English ones, such as Richard Cosway (1742-1821) and John Smart (1742-1811). Like Cosway and Smart, these French artists worked in watercolour on ivory. Ivory had been introduced in place of vellum in the early 18th century by Rosalba Carriera (1675-1757), a Venetian artist. The use of this new support developed in distinct ways in England and on the Continent.

This miniature portrait is of the French actress Mademoiselle Anne Françoise Hippolyte Mars. She appeared as a child actress at Versailles and in Paris. In 1795 she made her debut at the Comédie-Française. Four years later she joined the reconstituted company and began a long and successful career. She excelled in Molière comedy, but was also popular in Alexandre Dumas's Henri III et sa Cour ('Henry III and his Court') and Victor Hugo's Hernani. In 1828 she appeared in London.

Physical description

Portrait miniature of Mlle. Anne Francoise Hippolyte Mars. Dated.

Place of Origin

France (probably, painted)

Date

ca. 1798 (painted)

Artist/maker

Dumont, François, born 1778 - died 1847 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on ivory

Dimensions

Height: 167 mm, Width: 120 mm

Descriptive line

Portrait miniature of Mlle. Anne Francoise Hippolyte Mars, dated 1798?, watercolour on ivory, painted by Francois Dumont (1751-1847).

Materials

Watercolour; Ivory

Techniques

Painting

Subjects depicted

Portrait

Categories

Portraits; Performance art; Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings 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.