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Charles, A. (McKechnie Section 5)

See Section Two for main entry

Charles painted many portrait miniatures in colour, and in his advertisements sometimes used the words 'striking likenesses' to refer to these. His advertisements also make it clear, however, that he painted smaller silhouettes in black on ivory for jewellery settings, although I know of only one signed example.

The work on this example (illustrated) is similar to that of Charles' silhouettes painted on paper. The shape of the profile is well balanced to suit the smaller frame, and is painted in black and in thinned pigment, with all the detail well shown. The lines of the collar and other demarcations, which on his paper profiles Charles stressed with gum arabic, on his ivory work he indicated by leaving the ivory clear of pigment.

Ill. 1462

Gold locket, containing a silhouette (signed) of an unknown man in riding clothes painted on ivory by A. Charles, c. 1790. Size: 1½ x 1¼in./39 x 32mm.


J. A. Pollak collection