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Irish, 1759 - 1833
Portrait of a Woman
Watercolor on ivory, gilt, and glass

3 1/8 x 2 3/4 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Rienzi Collection, bequest of Caroline A. Ross


Irish artist Adam Buck was deeply interested in classical Greek and Roman vase painting. To give a Neoclassical feeling to this miniature, his subject is shown in elegant profile on a draped chaise.

The vividly colored, almost stormy sky, balances the cool sensuality of the languid figure. The woman in this portrait wears the revealing neoclassical attire made popular at Napoleon´s court. Her sleeveless white gown, held at the shoulder with a Wedgwood cameo brooch, and her loose gather of curls à l´antique, were the height of fashion in the early 1800s.