17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether
17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether
17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether
17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether
17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether
17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether
17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether
17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether
17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether

Circle of MARY BEALE (1633-1699)

17thc Oil Portrait of Baby Holding Coral Teether

17th century to 18th century British

Offered by Mansion House Antiques & Fine Art

£5,500 gbp
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EXCEPTIONAL PORTRAIT OF BABY WITH CORAL TEETHER

A rare chance to acquire a beautiful painting of a baby in 17thc dress.

Portraits of babies from the 17th & 18th centuries are quite rare, and obviously desirable for their charm and appeal.

This delightful portrait of a round-cheeked, blue-eyed infant is posed using the conventions established for formal European court portraiture, and as found in other early portraits of royal or aristocratic infants.

The child is depicted full-length, sitting with a highly formalised velvet curtain drape in the background. As with other royal and noble portraits, the baby is shown propped up as if on a chair of state, and seemingly possessing the self-control and formal bearing normally found in portraiture of adults at court.

The absence of a family armorial, combined with a lack of knowledge as to the portrait’s original provenance, make the identification the child problematic.

However the scale and richness of composition, with the baby dressed in the finest and most expensive white satin dress trimmed with lace and holding an expensive hand crafted coral teether,suggests that at the very least, this is a child from an wealthy family.

The prominence of the coral teether in the picture reflects the traditional belief that coral has magical protective properties. It was thought that coral could ward off illnesses and evil spirits. Coral was also hard, cool and clean, making it ideal as a material for the teething infant.

In fact, the coral’s rich colour was thought to reflect the appearance of physical well-being and if the coral began to change colour it was a harbinger of illness.

The baby in this portrait is wearing pink ribbons, it is interesting to note that the colours pink and blue were not associated with the gender of children until the 20th century.
The painting has been re-lined in the recent past to ensure good condition into the future and the frame is original with signs of distress and old repairs.There is very fine craquelure as expected which is stable and requires no attention.
ABOUT THE ARTIST ( Circle of Mary Beale )

Mary Beale (née Cradock; late March 1633 – 8 October 1699) was one of the most successful professional female Baroque-era portrait painters of the late 17th century due to her perseverance of her business.

Praised by Richard Gibson and court painter Peter Lely, she is considered as successful as Joan Carlile.

Joan Carlile was also an English portrait painter, who was one of the first women to practise painting professionally. Mary Beale managed to be the financial provider for her family through her professional portrait business.

Mary Beale stood apart from other women due to her outspokenness and successful business that allowed her to be the breadwinner of the family.
Dimensions
External Height 94.00 cm (37.01 inches)
External Width 81.30 cm (32.01 inches)
External Depth 7.50 cm (2.95 inches)
Stock Code
0675
Medium
Oil on Canvas
Mansion House Antiques & Fine Art

Mansion House Antiques & Fine Art
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East Midlands
Leicestershire
United Kingdom

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