Portrait of Beau Brummel (1778-1840) signed and dated 'Dighton 1805' (lower right) watercolour 32.5 x 23.5 cm. (13 x 9 1/4 in.)
Beau Brummel is best known for introducing 'dandyism' and high fashion to Regency London. Known for polishing his boots with champagne, he is credited for bringing the modern, formal man's suit into fashion. Brummel was a friend of the Prince Regent, but famously lost his friendship after asking "Alvanley, who's your fat friend?" (referring to the Prince Regent).
Brummel fled England in 1816 due to huge gambling debts and died of syphilis in Caen, France in 1840.
Provenance: Lord Clark of Saltwood; Sir Owen Morsahead K.C.B., Royal Librarian, Windsor.
Exhibited: London, Hanover Exhibition, New Gallery, 1980-91; London, Royal Academy Winter Exhibition 1956-57.
Literature: E. Moers, The Dandy, 1960 repr, p. 32; J. B. Priestley, The Prince of Pleasure, 1969, repr.