Andrew Robertson, MA (Scottish, 1772-1845) The artist's first wife Jenny, seated on a red sofa before a Classical column and red drapery, profile to the left, wearing long sleeved white dress, sky blue cuffs, yellow gloves and red coral necklace, her dark hair upswept and secured in place with a gold comb, her right elbow resting on the back of the sofa, her gloved hands clasped
Lot 165Y
Andrew Robertson, MA
(Scottish, 1772-1845)
The artist's first wife Jenny, seated on a red sofa before a Classical column and red drapery, profile to the left, wearing long sleeved white dress, sky blue cuffs, yellow gloves and red coral necklace, her dark hair upswept and secured in place with a gold comb, her right elbow resting on the back of the sofa, her gloved hands clasped
Sold for £1,250 (US$ 1,956) inc. premium

Lot Details
Andrew Robertson, MA (Scottish, 1772-1845)
The artist's first wife Jenny, seated on a red sofa before a Classical column and red drapery, profile to the left, wearing long sleeved white dress, sky blue cuffs, yellow gloves and red coral necklace, her dark hair upswept and secured in place with a gold comb, her right elbow resting on the back of the sofa, her gloved hands clasped.
Gilt-mounted on wooden frame.
Rectangular, 92mm (3 5/8in) high
Provenance: Sold by Limner Antiques, London, to Edward Grosvenor Paine in August 1972; Edward Grosvenor Paine Collection, New Orleans (Inv. no.613); Christie's, London, 28 October 1980, lot 62; Christie's, London, 21 November 2000, lot 292.

Footnotes

  • The present lot is comparable with an earlier portrait of the artist's first wife, which appeared at Christie's, London on 12 July 1988 (lot 181). In both instances, Robertson has portrayed Jenny in profile to the left. Her innocence and youth in the earlier portrait, which Robertson exhibited at the R.A. in 1803 (no.776), has been replaced in the present lot by a marked confidence and maturity. By the time of the latter portrait's conception, the Robertsons were enjoying a period of financial stability, signified by Jenny's surroundings and attire. The design of her white dress was made increasingly fashionable by Sir Thomas Lawrence in his acclaimed portraits of the society ladies of the day. The yellow gloves covering her clasped hands and the heavy coral beads suspended from her neck are further indications that the couple were financially comfortable and able to indulge in fashionable tastes.

    Little is known about Jenny Robertson, only that she was the mother to Andrew's three eldest children, Captain Charles Robertson (1808-1889), Edward (b.1809) who, like his father and uncles became a miniaturist, and finally, Mary. Andrew Robertson was considered to be a highly-rated miniaturist during his lifetime and enjoyed the patronage of a distinguished clientele that included the Duke of Sussex (1773-1843) and the 6th Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe (1816-1879; 1814-1895). According to Foskett, Robertson charged 10/6 for a portrait miniature in 1792 and was charging 12 guineas for his small ovals by 1807. He was greatly influenced by Nasmyth and Raeburn under whom he studied whilst in Scotland and was later nurtured by Benjamin West during his enrollment at the R.A. Schools in London. Robertson is often credited with introducing the techniques of oil portraiture to miniature painting - a transition which would consume the next generation of miniaturists including his protegé, Sir William Charles Ross (1794-1860) and Frederick Cruickshank (1800-1868). Robertson had two further children, Samuel and Emily by his second wife, who is said to have been the only daughter of a Mr Samuel Boxill of Waterford, Barbados but her name and dates remain elusive.
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