Atkinson, George

Gender:
Male
Date and place of birth:
Unknown
Date and place of death:
Unknown
Worked:
(fl) 1806-1826
Known places of work:
London
Known techniques:
Painted on card
Known materials:
Thick Card
Frames:
Oval turned Wood & papier-mache
Signature:
Recorded

Introduction:

George Atkinson was a relatively prolific artist who claimed in his advertisements to have painted over 900 profiles. However, as he often copied other artists’ work or painted in the style of them, his work is not always easily recognisable and has even been misattributed. Adding to these difficulties it is known that other artists, particularly Mr Crowhurst, copied Atkinson.

Little is known about Atkinson’s background. He had a son, Frederick, who was an inferior artist and a cutter, unlike his father. Atkinson’s trade labels indicate that he was based in London, but visited various seaside resorts, including Brighton and the West of England. They describe him as a “drawing master” and a “painter in watercolour”. In advertisements Atkinson frequently mentions his work for the Royal Family, styling himself as “Atkinson, Profilist to HRH Prince Regent”. His early profiles were framed in oval turned wood, while later ones were framed in papier-mache.

Atkinson’s early profiles were plain black with minimal Chinese white highlights. The recorded profiles are mainly of men, with straight line bust terminations. Atkinson went on to paint much more lavish profiles in gold against sepia and black. Plain black was used for the face and in brushstrokes to indicate shadow on clothing – a detail many artists of the period depicted with gum Arabic. Gilding was used freely and expertly over the rest of the silhouette. As fashions moved forward, Atkinson changed his bust-lines from shallow terminations for women to the waistline of the dress. He also introduced a little colour to his profiles, for example a pale grey blue cap, or a lavish turquoise blue cravat.

Additional research about George Atkinson:

Source: McKechnie (Author of, British Silhouette Artists and their Work 1760-1860)

Atkinson, George (McKechnie Section 1)
Atkinson, George (McKechnie Section 2)
Atkinson, George (McKechnie Section 6)

Source: Joll (Hon. Secretary of the Silhouette Collectors Club and Editor of the Club's newsletter)

Atkinson, George (SCC Newsletter June 1998)

Gallery Silhouettes

Front of silhouette, in frame, with man looking right, wearing a stock.Front of Silhouette, in frame, with woman looking right and wearing a bonnet decorated with ribbonsFront of silhouette, in frame, with man looking right, wearing a stock and a high necked collar.