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Barrett, Mrs

Date and place of birth:
Date and place of death:
(fl) 1800-1813
Known places of work:
Known techniques:
Painted on convex glass
Known materials:


Very little is known about Mrs Barrett. However, the vast difference in style and technique give no reason to suggest that she is the same person as the other known contemporary female silhouettist of the same surname, Miss Mary Barrett. Mrs Barrett is known only to have worked on glass.

Were it not for the existence of two works, one depicting William Pitt and the other of the Marchioness of Bath, Mrs Barrett would be totally unknown to us. It is not even known whether Barrett travelled to her sitters, or if the identity of her sitters indicates with any certainty where Barrett herself lived.

McKechnie speculates as to how Mrs. Barrett came to have two such distinguished sitters as Pit or the Marchioness of Bath. Indeed she admits she would have considered both merely stock prints. However, a personal inscription on one indicates they were taken from life. Barrett’s work has been described as ‘undistinguished’ and the brushwork, at least in the two extant examples, as “coarse”. It would be fascinating to know more about this apparently well-connected, if not hugely talented artist. However, research has so far been able to uncover any information.

Additional research about Mrs Barrett:

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

Barrett, Mrs (McKechnie Section 3)