Antique miniature portraits of the Tormey-Holder Collection



Secondary Holdings of the Tormey-Holder Collection: Artist Unknown



Nineteenth Century European Gentleman
Depicted in Sleeping Attire

Continental European
circa 1840
Artist unknown

1 3/8 x 1 3/4 inches (sight)


Being a portrait of an unknown gentleman, painted by an unknown artist in a somewhat simplistic manner, this miniature is designated as a secondary holding. It is, nonetheless, a favorite in the collection due to the intimacy and emotion it conveys. The subject is depicted in sleeping attire, with tired looking eyes and stubble on his face, as he would have appeared just before going to sleep. This portrait was surely painted as a gift for a spouse or lover, to be kept by her bedside as a reminder of her partner's affection in his absence (he was likely traveling abroad). Perhaps his wife had a similar portrait painted of herself, to be kept by her husband during his travels, providing comfort to him as he retired for the evening in whatever distant place he might have traveled to. Due to their intimate subject matter, such miniature portraits are rarely encountered, and are prized finds for discriminating collectors.



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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