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    Sale 7550

    Important Portrait Miniatures and Gold Boxes

    9 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 192

    RICHARD COSWAY, R.A. (BRITISH, 1742-1821)

    A boy, in Van Dyck dress, black slashed doublet, standing white lawn collar, curling brown hair

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    RICHARD COSWAY, R.A. (BRITISH, 1742-1821)
    A boy, in Van Dyck dress, black slashed doublet, standing white lawn collar, curling brown hair
    on ivory
    oval, 2 11/16 in. (68 mm.) high, modern silver-gilt fausse-montre frame


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    The use of Van Dyck dress in the present miniature reflects the general influence of historicism and the masquerade on eighteenth-century society portraiture, as well as the specific interest of Richard Cosway in cultivating his artistic personality through romantic dress. The slashed doublet and lawn shirt of the present miniature relate closely to the Van Dyck dress Cosway preferred to use in his self-portraits. Richard Cosway's resulting reputation as a 'macaroni', one of the young men of extreme fashion in the eighteenth century, was chronicled in the Morning Post (1788): 'Dickey Cosway has published a great many likenesses of his own dear self, but whether to commemorate the beauties of his person, or to give posterity the eternal similitude of so amiable a man, it is difficult to say. The last portrait which this magnanimous artist made of himself is clothed in a Spanish garb [...]' (Exhibition catalogue Richard & Maria Cosway, Regency Artists of Taste and Fashion, Edinburgh, Scottish National Portrait Gallery; 1995, London, National Portrait Gallery, 1995-1996, p. 103).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Phillips, London, 16 July 1986, lot 276 (in different frame; illustrated on catalogue front cover).