Tiny Painted Silhouette on Silk, Circa 1795
  • This tiny painted silhouette on silk in its tiny, stamped brass frame is delightful! Imagine the skill it takes to paint such a delicate profile on raw silk! The silhouettist used only black paint, leaving the ecru silk to shine through in the light areas. The lady wears an indoor Corday or mobcap. This type of cap was named after Charlotte Corday the female assassin of French revolutionary radical Jean-Paul Marat in his bath in July 1793 – google her name to see her portrait by Jean-Jacques Hauer in which she wears an identical cap). This young woman wears her hair loose so that it comes out of the bottom of her cap. She wears a loose handkerchief (or buffon) around her neck and probably tucked into the top of her dress which would have been cut very low. It is hard to tell but it looks like she has wrapped the handkerchief tight around her neck and then back around for the tucker. Framed size is 2 ½” x 2” (so tiny). The frame is good and strong and never opened but the top loop is replaced with wire. There some bent edges to the frame which show in the photos much more readily than in person. The silk is good and strong with no shattering. It is an amazing 18th century piece!

    #7273     $950