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An unknown, but distinguished looking Gentleman


Artist: Richard Crosse

Wearing brown coat, matching waistcoat and white stock, powdered hair en queue
Set in the original gold frame with pearl border the reverse with plaited blond locks of hair within gold bright-cut border, in fitted fishskin cse

Crosse, born in 1742, in Cornwall, like one of his sisters was born deaf. At the age of 16 he won a premium at the newly created 'Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce' (the Society of Arts) in London. He then moved to London and, like Richard Cosway and John Smart, he studied at the new drawing school of William Shipley, the founder of the Society of Arts.

Despite not being able to hear or speak, Crosse was very successful, and was highly regarded by his distinguished clientele. His clients included the Prince of Wales, and the Dukes of Cumberland and Gloucester. He painted his works mainly with watercolour on ivory; he also executed a few miniatures in enamel, a difficult and not always successful medium; as well as painting portraits in oil

He was a member of the landed gentry, and possessed a private income; he also earned quite a considerable sum from his portraiture. He invested his money wisely in property and stocks and shares, and received a good income from these investments in his later years.

He retired from commercial painting in the late 1790s, and died in 1810.

This portrait depicts Crosse's huge talent in the depiction of character. Although it has not been possible to identify the sitter in this charming portrait, the audience can see that he was a distinguished, kind and gentle Gentleman. The gold frame and pearl settings indicates that this miniature was commissioned to be given to a Lady to be worn as a pendant.
More Information
Year                 Circa 1775
Literature                 The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures, (Dublin, privately published, 2009) pp 10, 48 (#199).
Exhibition                 Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009
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