Serono di Torino, Giacinto (Italian, nineteenth century): Identified in some sources as Serono and in others as di Torino or just Torino. Active in Italy in the early 1830s. Very few of his works are known to exist, and most are portraits of military figures, leading one to believe that he himself might have also been in the military and that perhaps his life was cut short in battle.
Shellard, Harry Valentine
Slater, Isaac Wane (English, 1785-1836): Born on January 30, 1785, in Fulham, Southwest London, he was named after his maternal grandfather, Isaac Wane, a London grocer. He is often confused with his older brother, Joseph Slater, Jr. -- the two of whom are often conflated into the erroneous identity of Joseph W. Slater. In 1808, following in his deceased father's footsteps, Isaac joined the Company of Dyers, a guild in the textile industry. He also worked as a miniature portrait painter and engraver. Exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts (1805-1836). Was a lifelong resident of London, but traveled regularly to Worcester for months at a time seeking commission for portraits. There, he married Ann Ursula Holdsworth on September 14, 1831. He died five years later, on April 17, 1836. Listed by Benezit, Blättel (pages 838, 839), Foskett (pages 646, 647) and Schidlof (page 760).
Smith, Hannah Elizabeth (English, 1855-1919): The youngest of six children born to Alfred Newland Smith (1813-1876) and Catherine Gough (1814-ca. 1886), Hannah Elizabeth Smith was born in 1855, in Cheltenham, Gloucester (a mineral springs spa town, located 95 miles west of London). Her father was an accomplished landscape, cityscape and portrait painter in oils; and her grandfather, Daniel Newland Smith (1791-1839) was also a painter. No record has surfaced to indicate where Hannah was trained as an artist, but it is presumed that she received her earliest instruction from her father. Unlike her father, however, who is remembered to this day for his large oil paintings, she chose to become a painter of miniatures in watercolor on ivory. Hannah's older sister, Catherine Wilhelmina Smith (1841-date of death unknown) also worked briefly as a miniature painter prior to her marriage in 1880 to a Peter Matthew Clarke, but there is no evidence of her having exhibited her work. Hannah herself was first identified in public records as a miniature painter in 1881, when she was listed as such in the 1881 England Census (living with her widowed mother in the London Borough of Lambeth). The following year, she married Vincent Butler Smith (1857-1922), her second cousin (their grandfathers, Daniel Newland Smith and Thomas Smith, were brothers). Vincent was a school master at Buxton College, a West Ham boarding school for boys aged 10-18. Although many young women of her generation discontinued painting upon getting married, Hannah continued painting throughout her married life. Over a 28 year period, between 1888 and 1916, she regularly exhibited her work at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Miniature Society, and the Royal Society of Artists. Following in her footsteps, her daughter Constance Catherine Smith (1884-1961) also became a miniature painter. Three years after her last exhibition, Hannah Elizabeth Smith died in London at the age of 64, on May 13, 1919. Listed by Arturi Phillips (page 255), Benezit, Blättel (pages 840, 841), and Foskett (page 651).*
Tayler, [Joseph] Edward (Swiss-English, 1828-1906): Often signed his work with just the initials "E.T." Swiss born, but immigrated to England and settled in London. Active in London from about 1861 until his death in 1906, at the age of 78. Exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1870 to 1906. Listed by Arturi Phillips (pages 61, 152 and ,256).*
Trott, Benjamin (American, ca. 1770-1843): Benjamin Trott was born in Boston in about the year 1770. To date, research has not revealed where he received his training, but he possessed great skill and has long been considered one of the greatest American miniaturists of his day. Trott arrived to New York City in 1791, at which point he attracted the attention of the iconic early American portraitist Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), whom allowed Trott to copy his full-sized portraits in miniature. (Stuart referred to Trott, in fact, as the best and closest of his imitators.) In 1793, Trott departed New York for Philadelphia in the company of Stuart, with whom he maintained a decades-long friendship. In the years that followed, Trott migrated back and forth between Philadelphia and New York, and also traveled west to Kentucky and Ohio in search of commissions, before settling in Philadelphia in 1806. From 1809 to 1810, he shared a studio in Philadelphia with the esteemed portraitist Thomas Sully. He taught at the Society of Artists and he exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1811 to 1814. From Philadelphia, he occasionally traveled south in search of work in Norfolk and Charleston. In 1823, after having lived in Philadelphia for 17 years, he departed that city, following a failed marriage, and relocated to Newark, New Jersey. There he lived in relative obscurity until about 1829. Thereafter, he traveled between New York City, Boston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. He died in Washington in 1843, at about the age of 73. He is known to have works in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the New-York Historical Society (New York City), the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.), the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and numerous important private collections. Listed by Benezit, Blättel (pages 896, 897), Barratt & Zabar (pages 80-83), Bolton (pages 156-159), Bolton & Wehle (pages 107, 108), Fielding (page 945), Johnson (pages 215-220), and Schidlof (page 830).*
Vacca, Angelo (Italian, 1783-1823): Born in Turin in 1783, Angelo Vacca the younger was the son of Angelo Vacca the elder (1746-1814), also a painter. At an early age, he earned the attention of members of the House of Savoy, becoming miniature painter to the court of Piedmont (the Kingdom of Piedmont, also known as Piedmont-Sardinia or Savoy-Sardinia). He painted numerous members of court and other Italian aristocracy -- most notably, King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia (Vittorio Emanuele; 1759–1824) and King Charles Felix of Sardinia (Carlo Felice Giuseppe Maria; 1765-1831). He died in Turin in 1823, at the age of 40. Signed works by him rarely come to market (most being held in important family collections) and are considered rare and valuable. Listed by Benezit, Blättel (pages 906, 907), and Schidlof (page 838).*
Vallée, Philippe R. (Franco-American, exact dates of birth and death unknown, period of flourish in America 1803-1812): Born circa 1777 in Saint-Domingue, on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola (the island that is today comprised of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Studied under François-André Vincent at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris. First recorded in America in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1803. Relocated to New Orleans by 1810. Served in the Louisiana militia during the war of 1812, during which time he painted a miniature portrait of General Andrew Jackson, who would years later become the 7th President of the United States. Often confused with Jean François Vallée, also a French immigrant, who painted miniatures of lesser quality and also painted silhouettes. (Philippe R. Vallée's portrait of General Jackson, in particular, is often erroneously attributed to Jean François Vallée.) Listed by Barratt and Zabar (page 67), Blättel (pages 906, 907) and Lemoine-Bouchard (page 495).*
Van Driesten, Joseph-Emmanuel (French, 1853-1923): Born in 1853, in Lille, France, he was the eldest of five children born to Antoine-Guillaume Van Driesten of Holland and Josepha Verschaffelt of Belgium. Despite objections by his parents (his father preferred that he become a baker), he entered the École des Beaux-Artes de Lille (the School of Fine Arts of Lille), where he studied under Alphonse Colas. In 1870, at the age of 17, he entered a 7-year apprenticeship to a carriage builder in Lille by the name of Mssr. Salomon, for whom he decorated carriage doors by painting decorative symbols and the coats of arms of the wealthy individuals whom commissioned the carriages. In 1877, upon completion of his apprenticeship with Salomon, he opened his own workshop in Lille, where he continued to focus his energies on the painting of heraldic arms, having devoted himself to the study of of heraldry and heraldic law. He exhibited heraldic works in Paris as early as 1878 (where he won a gold medal at the Paris Exposition of 1878), and in Beaulieu as early as 1879. In 1882, he won a gold medal from the Société des Sciences et des Arts de Lille (the Society of Arts and Sciences of Lille) and an award from the Société Héraldique et Généalogique de France (Heraldry and Genealogical Society of France), both for elaborate heraldic drawings. In 1883, offering a testament to the high regard he was by then seen in heraldic circles, he was elected a member of the Kaiserliche und Köningliche Adler Gesselschaft (the Imperial and Royal Eagle Society) in Leipzig. In 1886, he won a silver medal in Vienna for a series of paintings of thirty-two genealogical trees outlining the ancestry of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. In 1886, Van Driesten relocated to Paris, taking up residence at 19 Rue du Poncelet. There, he offered instructional courses for ladies in both illumination (heraldic illustration, calligraphy, and the creation of decorative monograms and initials) and miniature portraiture. (It would seem that miniature portraiture was of secondary interest to him, likely something he pursued to satisfy the growing demand for high quality color portraits in Paris in the last years of the nineteenth century.) He also published two monthly magazines of art instruction: L’Enlumineu (The Illuminator), published from 1889 to 1892, and Le Coloriste Enlumineur (The Colorist Illuminator), published from 1893 to 1898. He is said to have participated regularly exhibitions of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts (National Society of Fine Arts), where he exhibited both miniature portraits and heraldic works, received a total of 18 gold and silver medals. His period of flourish as a miniature portrait painter were from 1886-1998. He was active as a heraldist and heraldic illuminator for a much longer period, from 1870 until his death in 1923. Listesd by Benezit, Blättel (pages 912, 913), and Lemoine-Bouchard (page 513).*
Wagner, Daniel (American, 1802-1888): Active in upstate New York (Albany, Utica, and Whitesboro). Known to have works in collections of the Albany Institute of History & Art (Albany, New York), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis, Minnesota). Listed by Benezit, Blättel (pages 942, 943).*
Walton, Lilian (English, 1897-1992): Appears to have taken up portrait painting rather late in life. (She first exhibited her work in 1937, at the age of 40.) Exhibited in Edinburgh at the Royal Scottish Academy in the years 1937, 1939, 1940 and 1943. Exhibited in London at the Royal Academy in 1940 and 1943. She served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (the women's branch of the a British Army) from 1939, the onset of war with Germany, until the end of World War II, in 1945. Before the war's end, she was married in 1943 to Lieutenant Leonard Dowsett of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). Following her marriage to Leonard, she no longer exhibited her work publicly. She did, however, continue to paint commissioned portraits, albeit in limited quantities, mostly for friends and acquaintances.
Weidner, Carl Adolph (American, 1865-1906): Born in 1865, in Hoboken, New Jersey, Carl Weidner was the youngest of three children born to German immigrants William Weidner and Pauline de la Douai. He studied art at the Donal Institute in New York and in Munich under Paul Nauen. He spent the majority of his painting career in New York City, where he earned particular fame for the more than 100 portraits of young New York City débutantes that he painted for the wealthy Peter Marié. An earnest exhibitor of his work, he participated in exhibitions of the Society of American Artists (New York), the National Academy of Design (New York), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Philadelphia), the Society of American Miniature Painters (New York), the Paris Exposition of 1900, the Pan-American Exposition of 1901 (Buffalo, New York), the Saint Louis Exposition and the International Exposition (Munich). Listed by Benezit, Blättel (pages 952, 953).*
Weigl, Franz. (Austrian, 1810-after 1842): His name is also spelled as Weigel in some sources. Exhibited at the Academy Wien (Vienna) from 1828 to 1842. Noted for a portrait of composer Franz Schubert that he exhibited in 1830. Listed by Benezit and Blättel (pages 952, 953).*
Westby, Grace (Grace Mary Stanley Westby née Adam)
Wilkinson, Maureen née McRae (Australian, 1921-2012): From 1936 to 1940, she studied art at the Ballarat School of Mines (now a part of Federation University Australia -- SMB Campus, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia). From 1940 to 1942, studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) under John Rowell. Worked for two years as a commercial artist before the onset of World War II, when she joined the Australian Women's Army Service in 1942, serving as a cartographer. After the war, she resumed work as a commercial artist while also pursuing her personal interests of painting watercolor landscapes and oil portraits. From 1970, she focused exclusively on the painting of portraits, beginning with full-sized portraits in oils and gradually evolving to miniature portraits on porcelain. Exhibited in Melbourne from 1975 at the Victorian Artists Society and the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors. In the 1980s, she began a long-term project of painting miniature portraits of historical figures on porcelain. She unveiled the first of these works in 1988, in an exhibition entitled Famous Early Australians, exhibited first in Melbourne and then in Ripponlea. In 1989, she exhibited another series of historical portraits in Adelaide, in an exhibition titled Founders of South Australia. Was a founding member, in 1992, of the Australian Society of Miniature Art - Victoria. By 2001, her historic miniatures had grown to over 200 in number and were assembled in a permanent collection that has since toured throughout Australia in a traveling exhibition titled, A History of Australia in Miniature Portraits.
Williams, Alyn (English, 1865-1941): Studied at the Slade School in London and Julian's in Paris. Also known to have studied under both J.P. Laurens and Courtois in Paris. Had a successful career on both sides of the Atlantic, having worked for long periods in both London and Philadelphia. He also worked brief stints in Paris and West Cowes (Isle of Wight). Exhibited in London at the Royal Academy between 1890 and 1914. Also exhibited at the Salon in Paris during this period. Was a founding member of the Royal Miniature Society and served as President of that organization for a total of 35 years (having served as president from 1896 to 1898 and again from 1908 to 1941). Also served as Vice President of the Imperial Art League (London), and was a member of the Philadelphia Society of Miniature Painters. Williams painted portraits of many distinguished clients, including Pope Pius XI, King Edward VII, Queen Alexandra, U.S. President William Howard Taft, and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. Known to have works in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, Massachusetts), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the New York Historical Society Museum & Library (New York City) and the Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Listed by Arturi Phillips (pages 167, 274, 275), Benezit, Blättel (pages 964, 965) and Foskett (page 677).*
Williams, Henry (American, 1787-1830): Little is known of Henry Williams' origins, other than that he was born in Boston in 1787. It is, likewise, not known where he received his training as an artist. It appears that he only ever lived and worked in Boston, with the exception of brief visits to Maine. Williams first appeared in Boston city directories in 1806 (at the age of 19), when he was listed as a limner on Market St. In the 1807 directory, he was listed as a miniature painter and artist working at the Columbian Museum on Tremont St. It was there that he met the acquaintance of fellow miniaturist William M. S. Doyle (who owned and operated the museum in partnership with Daniel Bowen), and the two began an eight year collaboration. Williams and Doyle worked together through 1815; and many works exist that are jointly signed by the two artists. (Doyle being 19 years older than Williams, one might assume that it was the older Doyle who took the younger Williams under his wings; but it was Williams, in fact, who was considered the more accomplished artist of the two.) Collaboration with Doyle aside, Williams advertised his services independently in Boston newspapers regularly from 1806 through 1826. In 1814, at the age of 27, Williams published Elements of Drawing, a teaching manual for aspiring artists that included 26 copperplate engraved examples of various drawing techniques. Works by Williams were exhibited at the Boston Athenæum from 1828 to 1831 (a year after his death), but it is supposed that these were older works that were submitted for exhibition by Williams' wife (Cecile Charlotte Williams née Le Mercier, 1786-1850), as there is no evidence that he painted after 1826. In addition to painting miniature portraits in watercolor on ivory, Williams is known to have executed full-sized portrait in oil on canvas, pastel portraits, silhouettes, copperplate engravings and portraits in wax. In the 1820s, he regularly advertised his services as a painter of the dead and noted his unique method of casting a face mask that he would use as a model. Separately from art, Williams was also a self-professed doctor of electricity, also referred to as a medical electrician. (Medical electricity was a popular "science" in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when proponents believed that electrical currents could speed the healing of wounds and aid in the regeneration of muscle after injuries.) Williams died in Boston in 1830, at the age of 43. He is known to have works in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the Smithsonian Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, Massachusetts) the Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, Massachusetts), the Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, Ohio), and the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Connecticut). Listed by Benezit, Barratt & Zabar (pages 114-116), Blättel (pages 964, 965), Bolton (page 173), Bolton & Wehle (page 112), Fielding (pages 1,014, 1,015), Johnson (pages 232, 233) and Schidlof (pages 882, 883).*
Willis, Ethel Mary (English, 1874-1972): The second of three children born to Thomas Willis (1836-1916) and Mary Jane Sasse (1846-1925), Ethel Mary Willis was born in 1874, in Victorian era London. Her interest in art was no doubt influenced by her father, who was both a successful London tea dealer and an avid art collector. She was afforded an enviable education, both at home and abroad. In London, she attended first the Royal College of Art, followed by post graduate studies at the Slade School of Fine Arts. Afterwards, she further honed her skills at the avant-garde Académie Delecluse in Paris. While in Paris, she also became a private pupil of the esteemed French miniaturist Madame Debillemont-Chardon (Gabrielle Debillemont-Chardon, 1860-1957), who had a large influence on Miss Wilis' painting style. She exhibited regularly from 1900 to 1939 in both London and Paris; and she supplemented her income as a painter by offering private lessons in drawing and painting. Following the death of her parents, she lived out the remainder of her life with her sister, Eleanor Elizabeth Willis (also a spinster), in the Willis family home, located in London's affluent Chiswick district. There, she died in 1945, at the age of 70. Listed by Arturi Phillips (page 168), Benezit, Blättel (pages 966, 967) and Foskett (page 677).*
Wise, Constance E.
Wright, Rose Ethel (English, 1866-1939): Also known by her married name, Ethel Barclay. In addition to miniatures, she also painted large oil paintings and floral still life paintings in watercolor. Before pursuing formal training, she was a self-taught artist, learning her skills by copying other artists' work at the National Gallery. She then studied in the studio of Seymour Lucas, where she became acquainted with Solomon Joseph Solomon, President of the Royal Society of Artists. At the encouragement of Solomon, Miss Wright went to Paris and studied at Julian's (The Académie Julian). While in Paris, she exhibited at the Salon in 1887. On returning to London, she exhibited a total of 39 works at the Royal Academy between 1888 and 1929. Though she married in 1898, like many female artists, she continued to sign works and exhibit under her maiden name. Known to have works in collections of the National Portrait Gallery (London), the Gallery Oldham (formerly known as the Oldham Art Gallery and Museum, London), the Museu Nacional D'Art de Catalunya (Barcelona, Spain) and the Imperial War Museum (London). Particularly well known for her 1889 painting of a clown, titled "Bon Jour, Pierrot", on display at Gallery Oldham. Listed by Arturi Phillips (page 171), Benezit, Blättel (pages 974, 975), and Foskett (page 680).*
Young, Arthur Denoon (Scotch-English, 1864-1920): Born in Perth, Scotland on December 9, 1864. Like his father, three aunts and two uncles, he was given the middle name of Denoon, the maiden name of his grandmother, Catherine Denoon (1781-1840). In 1881, at the age of 17, he relocated to London, where he immediately began working as a miniature painter. From 1881 to 1900, he exhibited annually at the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers (a/k/a the Royal Miniature Society). He also exhibited intermittently at the Royal Society of British Arts and the Royal Scottish Academy. In his later years, he experienced illness and financial hardship. He died in London on September 30, 1920, at the age of 55. He is often confused with Scottish painter and photographer Andrew Young (1854-1925). The identities of the two, unrelated Youngs are often conflated into the erroneous identity of Andrew Denoon Young (See biographical article for details). Listed by Arturi Phillips (page 172 -- listed erroneously as Andrew Denoon Young), Blättel (pages 980, 981) and Foskett (page 681).*
Arturi Phillips: Carmela Arturi and Frederick Roger Phillips (2012). Dictionary of Miniature Painters 1870-1970, self-published in London by Ms. Arturi's and Mr. Phillip's Portrait Miniature Club.