Antique miniature portraits of the Tormey-Holder Collection



English Artist: Edith Jane Maas



Portrait miniature by Edith Jane Maas of Thomas Henry Hamilton Perrot

Thomas Henry Hamilton Perrot (1898-1988),
Painted at the Age of 6

dated 1904
by Edith Jane Maas

2 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches (sight)

watercolor on ivory; housed in a gilt metal pendant frame

formerly a holding of the Arturi Phillips Collection
(Carmela Arturi and Frederick Roger Phillips)


About the Artist: The youngest of six children born to Joseph Maas (1821-1888) and Frances Fox (1819-1890), Edith Jane Maas was born in 1861, in Victorian era London. She is said to have been of Dutch heritage. Confusingly, her father is listed alternatively in some sources as an accountant, and in others as a linen draper (a retailer of linen cloth). Her mother worked as a milliner (hat maker/seller) until the birth of her third child. Prior to her having pursued art, Edith is recorded as having been an amateur soloist -- not surprising, given that her oldest brother, Joseph Maas, Jr. (1847-1886) and oldest sister, Frances Joyce Leah Maas (1848-1923) were both professional opera singers. By the 1881 England Census, both Edith and her sister Ellen (Ellen Maas, 1852-1910, married in 1873 to Richard Taylor Dunbar) were recorded as being photographic artists (i.e., photographic colorists who added color to black and white photographs). Ellen continued in this field for another three decades, but Edith quickly evolved into painting freehand. By the census of 1891, she was listed as a miniature painter; and she had by then been earning accolades for the quality of her painting. So regarded was her work, in fact, that in 1893 she was invited to paint a portrait of Queen Alexandra (Queen consort of King Edward VII). In 1898, Alyn Williams, president and a founder of the Society of Miniature Painters, and inarguably one of the most influential miniature painters of his day, referred to Edith Maas as being "among the best" of miniature portrait painters of her generation. For 19 years, from 1890 to 1909, she exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Miniature Society, the Walker Gallery (Liverpool), the London Salon, and the New Gallery (London). Having never married, she died in 1925, at the age of 64. Listed by Arturi Phillips (pages 230, 231), Blättel (pages 600, 601), and Foskett (page 594).








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