Irish portrait miniatures c. 1700-1830

  • Paul Caffrey

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis is the first comprehensive study of miniature portrait painting in Ireland during the period c. 17– to 1830. The thesis includes a critical bibliography, a survey of the primary sources and a discussion of the visual sources and collections that are the focus of the study. The techniques used in miniature painting provide a starting point for this analysis of portraits painted on enamel and ivory. This examination of miniature portraiture emphasises the distinction between the two different types of miniature, the ornamental portrait as jewellery and objects of personal adornment and the cabinet miniature. The display of miniature portraits as decorative pictures, viewed within the context of interior architecture and design provides a focus for the chapter on cabinet miniatures. The Irish portrait miniatures in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland are catalogues in full for the first time. This collection provides the material for the stylistic and technical analysis in the thesis. Comparative work is drawn from public and private collections in Ireland, England and America. The thesis documents the work of over 180 miniaturists active in Ireland in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The thesis presents new material on the miniaturists and their work which shows the contribution of the miniaturist to the development of portraiture, water colour painting and the decorative arts in Ireland.
    Date of Award1995
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Nottingham Trent University

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