A striking miniature portrait painting on organic material, finely painted by John Ramage. The sitter, a gentleman elegantly attired in the height of late 18th century fashion, is wearing a white shirt with a ruffled white cravat and a brick-red coat over a brown-striped vest.
The condition of the painting is superb, with no flaws whatsoever, as is that of the later case. Sight size is 1 5/8" by 1 1/4", and the case size is 1 3/4" by 1 1/2". The case has the original pin on the back for use as a brooch.
Provenance: Elle Shushan
NOTE: John Ramage (1748 - 1802) was born in Dublin, Ireland. In 1763, he studied at the Dublin Society School where he learned the art of miniature painting. Around 1772 he married and moved to Nova Scotia, and by 1775 he was working in Boston, followed by a move to NYC the following year.
Ramage became a much sought after portraitist by both the British and the Americans, and among his subjects were John Quincy Adams, Gouverneur Morris, and members of many other prominent families. He remained in New York after it became the capital of the United States and had considerable success. He was quite a flamboyant character who dressed as a dandy, womanized, and spent money recklessly. In 1802 Ramage died in Canada, having fled there 8 years previously to avoid debtor laws in NYC, due to his underwriting a note his friend owed.
Ramage was one of the relatively few accomplished 18th century American miniaturists, and his works, which now rarely appear for sale, appear in most major museums. His portrait of George Washington, done from life in 1789, sold at Christie's in 2001 for $1.2 million, the highest price ever paid for a painting on a per square inch basis.