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An unknown Lady

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Artist: Simon Digby

REF
4554
watercolour on vellum, gold pendant frame with pierced spiral cresting

This miniature exhibits the blue and red shading in the flesh areas mentioned by Daphne Foskett, Collecting Miniatures, (1979), p. 266 as being typical of Digby's works. The Right Reverend Simon Digby was Bishop of Elphin (1691-1720). He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. Nothing is known about his artistic training, if any, but he was an accomplished miniaturist and painted many of the leading men of the day. These included Bishop Tilloston, Lord Capel and Henry, Lord Sidney. His skill as a miniaturist was noted during his lifetime as an important social accomplishment. Digby's portrait miniatures are the earliest extant miniatures painted by a miniaturist of Irish birth.

This intimate portrait presents the sitter in a state of 'undress'; that is, informally posed in a private setting. This is an intimate portrait, with the sitter's long hair falling untied over one shoulder in the manner usually associated with images of Mary Magdalene.
More Information
Year                 Circa 1700
Provenance                 Edward Grosvenor Paine Collection; Sotheby's, 22 June, 1981, lot 44
Literature                 The Comerford Collection: Portrait Miniatures (Dublin, privately published, 2009), pp 7, 24 (# 64).

Paul Caffrey, John Comerford and the Portrait Miniature in Ireland c. 1620-1850, at the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, 1999, p. 18 Number 4,
Exhibition                 John Comerford and the Portrait Miniature in Ireland c. 1620-1850, at the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, 1999, Number 4.

Comerford Collection at the Irish Architectural Archives in Dublin, in 2009.
Condition                 Good
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