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Bruce, I. or J.

Date and place of birth:
Date and place of death:
(fl) Presumed 1825-1835
Known places of work:
Known techniques:
Painted on glass
Known materials:


Despite earlier assumptions, collectors now believe that work attributed to I Bruce and J Bruce was in fact done by one artist, with the initial I or J.

In ‘The History of Silhouettes’ Jackson mentions a series of prints of engraved silhouettes published 1825-1835, many of famous people, signed “I. Bruce”. They have a partial address for either London or Brighton. No other signature is present and it is believed that the silhouettes were initially engraved by “I Bruce”. “J Bruce” is recorded in local directories an engraver in aquatint, active at a similar period and known for his Brighton views. These facts combined make it likely that I Bruce and J Bruce were one artist, with the initial I or J.

I or J Bruce appears to have been a relatively skilled artist, with a personal or commercial interest in the profiles of the rich and famous. Two of the prints recorded by Jackson showed William IV and the Duke of Wellington. Other examples are of Henry Peter Brougham, now held in the British Museum and Earl Russell, now in the National Portrait Gallery. Each has the sitter’s name printed in capital letters, which perhaps indicates they were produced with the intention to sell or collect. The profiles were painted on glass and engraved, almost certainly from pictures rather from life. I or J Bruce evidently had enough skill to allow us to differentiate between sitters, but not enough for him to stand out from very similar contemporary artists.

Additional research about I. or J. Bruce:

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

Bruce, I. or J. (McKechnie Section 2)