September - Modern miniatures and research

Modern miniatures

I will probably get into trouble with my children by posting these images on the Internet, but I thought visitors might like to be aware that miniature portraits can still be painted and make a nice gift.

These three were all painted by Irina Kouznetsova whose website is at Irina Kouznetsova Miniature Art

Thus I recommend that if you are interested in miniature portraits, you should consider having some family portraits painted. They should last 'forever' and become family heirlooms of the future.

Ivory is sometimes not available, so other grounds may have to be used. Although I have been informed that some artists are now able to source mammoth ivory. The three here are painted using a Russian technique of painting on papier-machie, which is very satisfactory and less likely to crack than ivory.

Although the research does not specifically relate to miniatures, I thought visitors might also be interested in some of the research into my book about Sir Anthony Carlisle. It is all set to be published. I am just waiting for one more reference book to come from overseas to enable me to check some information.

The following is an example of the new research now being revealed. It is a fascinating discovery!

In 1751 William Hogarth published a series of four prints titled "The Four Stages of Cruelty". The fourth print in the series depicts an anatomy theatre.

What has not been previously observed, is that the anatomist wielding a large knife is clearly Dr William Hunter the 18C accoucheur and anatomist, and the young assistant is his younger brother John Hunter, the famous 18C surgeon.

A comparison of the portrait of William Hunter on the cover of this book by Bynum and Porter, with the close up of the print, clearly shows the same prominent nose, chin, and cheekbones. In addition his spectacles match, in one he is wearing them and in one he is holding them.

John Hunter's portrait is not quite as obvious, but a similarity can be seen in this portrait of John Hunter by Robert Home.

The iconography of these portraits, and their connection with the history of men-midwifery and obstetrics, involving William Smellie and William Hunter, is explored more closely in a new biography of Sir Anthony Carlisle, available for purchase as a downloadable eBook in .pdf format, from October 2009 at The Real Mr Frankenstein

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