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A Young Lady


Artist: Samuel Shelley

wearing a white dress trimmed with turquoise ribbon and lace collar, a matching tied in a bow in her long brown curling hair
set in gold frame

This enchanting portrait shows the younggirl wearing her hair in a fashionable non-powdered state, suggesting a date of circa 1800 (after the implementation of the tax on powdered wigs). The Duty on Hair Powder Act 1795 was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain levying a tax on hair powder.

Shelley's first exhibition was at the Society of Artists in 1773, on 21 March the following year he entered the Royal Academy Schools (his age recorded as 17), where he became influenced by the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds. During his career Shelley painted in oil, illustrated books, and engraved several of his own works, but he's most particularly remembered for his watercolour miniature portraits. During his lifetime he exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Society of Artists and the British Institute. In 1804 Shelley joined with W. F. Wells, Robert Hills, W. H. Pyne, and six other artists to found the Watercolour Society (afterwards known as the 'Old' society), of which he was treasurer until 1807.
More Information
Year                 Circa 1800
Condition                 Slightly faded
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