Samuel Shelley c1800
Samuel Shelley c1800
Samuel Shelley c1800

SAMUEL SHELLEY (c.1750-1808)

Samuel Shelley c1800

c. 1800 England

Offered by Cynthia Walmsley

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A portrait miniature of a tousle haired young gentleman wearing a blue jacket, white chemise and white frilled cravat.

Watercolour on ivory in an oval gold frame the reverse with opalescent glass, a curl of hair in the shape of a feather held with gold wire and seed pearls.


Born in Whitechapel London. Entered the R A Schools 21st March1774 aged 17. He was awarded a premium by the Society of Arts 1770.
He exhibited at the Society of Artists 1773 & 1775 and at the R.A. 1774-1804 as well as at the B.I & O.W.C.S.

Shelley painted miniatures, water-colour figure subjects, oil paintings; drew book illustrations and engraved some of his own works; others were engraved by Bartolozzi. He had addresses in Soho, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden and finally 6 George Street, Hanover Square where he remained until his death on 22 November 1808.

He was an artist of considerable ability, characteristics of his work are a yellowish green flesh tint (this is sometimes used on the background as well), a slightly enlarged pupil of the eye, and the use of rather more gum that that used by other artists. This gives his miniatures the appearance of oil paintings. His draughtsmanship was good and his miniatures of ladies and children charming.

Examples of his work can be seen at the V & A M., the B.M. has some of his drawings, the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge & the City of Liverpool Museum have miniatures by him.
Height 6.50 cm (2.56 inches)
Width 5.00 cm (1.97 inches)
Stock Code
Watercolour on ivory
Cynthia Walmsley

Cynthia Walmsley
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