A truly beautiful pair of miniature portraits, on natural wafer, exemplifying Hugh Bridport at his very best. Signed on the back of the boy,, in graphite, "Painted by Hugh Bridport, Phila".
The very handsome gentleman is wearing a black ascot, white collar, white shirt with onyx studs, and a black jacket. The young boy, with fine, light brown hair, is wearing a sky blue garment with white embroidery on the wide collar.
Both miniatures are in superb condition, with no cracks, chips, or bowing. The size of the painting of the gent is 2 3/8" by 1 7/8", and of the child is 2 3/4" by 2 1/4".
Provenance: Estate of Patricia B. Wells, Chestnut Hill, PA .by descent from Mrs. Frederick Brown to son George Farnam Brown, through members of the Brown family of Philadelphia.
Note: Bridport (1790 - c1868) was born in London. Heeding a suggestion by Thomas Sully, he emigrated to Philadelphia in 1816, and joined his brother, George Bridport. They founded a drawing school in that year, which closed after 2 years. He was a founding member of the Franklin Institute, where he taught drawing from 1826-1833. Although best known as a miniaturist, Hugh Bridport also did full size portraits and landscapes, as well as engravings, lithographs, and architectural work. He traveled widely, and had extended stays in Virginia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and New York, among other areas. Before moving to the U.S., his miniatures were exhibited at The Royal Academy, and, after the move, at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Artist's Fund Society. His works are in the collections of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.