Edward or James Crosse, brother of the artist, in aubergine coat
Signed on the backing card 'Richard Crosse' and numbered '60'
Enamel on copper
Oval, 100 mm. high, gilt-metal frame
Christie's, London, 28 November 1978, lot 54.

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Carys Bingham
Carys Bingham

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Lot Essay

Richard Crosse came from Cullompton, Devon and was deaf and mute from birth. He took up miniature painting as a hobby and won a prize from the Society of Artists which enabled him to move to London where he exhibited at the Society of Artists from 1760 to 1761 and at the Royal Academy from 1770 to 1796. In 1788 he was appointed Painter in Enamel to George III. He become proficient as an enamellist (though his works in enamel are rare), and a portrait painter on ivory and in oil. He created several portraits of his family and a similar enamel miniature of one of his brothers, possibly James, was exhibited Edinburgh, British Portrait Miniatures, 1965, no. 402 (lent by the Hon. Kenneth Thomson, Toronto, Canada), and another in the Victoria and Albert Museum (inv. no. P. 147-1929, identified as James or Edward Crosse). These portraits show a strong physical resemblance to the present enamel. One of his brothers lived with him in London and liaised with clients on his behalf.
Though he flourished in his professional life, his personal life was affected by an unrequited love towards Miss Sarah Cobley who refused him and married Benjamin Haydon. It is said to have left Crosse heartbroken. Years later, in 1807, he saw her and was overcome with emotion. She died the following day. By this time Crosse had retired to Wells, Somerset and he died there in May 1810 at the age of sixty-eight.

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