Antique miniature portraits of the Tormey-Holder Collection



Secondary Holdings of the Tormey-Holder Collection: Artist Unknown



Mid Nineteenth Century French Boy
Lying on His Deathbed

circa 1840
Artist unknown

2 1/2 inches diameter (sight)


Depicted is sweet looking, young French boy, lying comfortably on his deathbed. The boy's tender eyes gaze upward, as if looking up to heaven.

The subject matter of this portrait seems macabre and distasteful to twenty-first century sentiments; but the boy's parents, who likely had no other image to remember their son by, must have been desperate to preserve the sweet boy's likeness. Such deathbed portraits (painted both pre and post mortem) were considered tender mementos in the nineteenth century; and, in an age before photography, they were often the only surviving image one had of a loved one.


Attribution Advice Welcomed:
Do you recognize aspects of this miniature portrait that you believe should be attributed to a specific artist that we have failed to consider? If so, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions and invite you to contact us.

A Note regarding Core vs. Secondary Holdings:
Being that a significant amount of our time and energy is spent conducting biographical research on the lives of miniature portrait painters and the subjects they painted, we have chosen to designate as "core" those holdings that can be attributed to specific artists or are of solidly identifiable subjects. Interestingly, however, some miniatures that are designated as secondary holdings are actually more finely painted or are of greater value than some of their core holding counterparts. For the purposes of this website, they will nonetheless remain designated as secondary holdings until such time as their subjects or the artists who painted them can be identified with additional research.






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