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Set of Two Late 19th Century Watercolour - Portraits of a Lady and Gentleman



A set of two miniature portraits in varnished watercolour. The artworks are identical in size and depict a young Victorian lady and gentleman. The young man is painted wearing a white cravat, as was the fashion for gentlemen at the turn of the century. Both artworks are presented in a circular gilt frame with loop attachment. The fascination in collecting miniature portraits originally arose due to the interest in the skill of the artist, and each portrait can be viewed as a unique and original work of art. These particular miniatures are skilfully and delicately painted, the artist has wonderfully captured the likeness of the sitters. Unsigned. On wove.


The condition is typical for pictures of this age including some discolouration. With some minor losses to the surface of the watercolour and cracking to the varnish.


7.2 x 5.5cm (2.8" x 2.2")
Framed Size: 8.4 x 6.7cm (3.3" x 2.6")

Artist Biography

Artist Walter James West was born in Birmingham on 17th December 1882. He started studying at the age of 14 at the Central school of Arts and Crafts in Birmingham. In the 1911 census he is listed as a silversmith chaser. By the age of 30 he was registered as a part time teacher and student. Later in 1918, he became a regular teacher of drawing at Vittoria Street Jewellery School, where he worked until his death in 1942. West became an associate of the RBSA in 1936 and was a well respected artist amongst his peers, frequently exhibiting at The Birmingham Art Circle throughout the 1930s. He mostly exhibited landscapes in watercolour often depicting seascapes, architectural and topographical scenes. At the time his work was reviewed in the press and was described as having “a clean and careful skill in drawing with a love of delicate colour”.

More Information
Code kj816
Date Late 19th Century
Dimensions 7.2 x 5.5cm
Framed Yes
Medium Watercolour
Style Miniature
Subject Portrait
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