A superb double silhouette on natural organbic material, in a cast foliate locket, by John Field. One side is of a woman, the other of a man, wearing spectacles (highly unusual) and both are signed "John Field 111 Strand" along the lower edge of the bust line. These paintings display the finely executed bronzed work that was a hallmark of Field's.
The sight size is 1 1/2" by 1 1/4". The condition of the paintings and case is excellent, with no apologies needed.
NOTE: The following are excerpts from two reference works that discuss the importance of John Field and John Miers.
1. Ranking amongst the finest silhouette artists, John Field began his career as an assistant to John Miers during the 1790s. Theirs was to be a long and prolific partnership lasting until the death of Miers in 1821 when the business was jointly willed to Field and to Miers' son William. Most of the profiles painted on ivory at the studio of John Miers were actually painted by Field. He excelled at bronzing and his work in this area was unequalled.
2. John Field was originally Miers' apprentice and later his partner of many years. He inherited the business when John Miers died. It is possible that many of John Miers' later works were in fact executed by Field! The bronzing shown here is a feature of John Field's own style (that is, executed under his own name) and was apparently much criticized by John Miers, who felt that it was an unwarranted departure from the true shadow. Nevertheless, the sheer quality of John Field's work seems to override such criticism. The bronzing adds a third dimension to the work, and gives us the strange feeling of the subject emerging, as it were, out of a pool of light.
SECOND NOTE:For a fine silhouette done by John Miers please see item a1239 on this site.