A fine portrait miniature by William Charles Ross, executed in watercolor on natural organic material. The subject, a gentleman with receding brown hair and blue eyes, is fashionably attired in a brown jacket, white collar, black vest, shirt, and ascot, which sports a turquoise and gold stickpin. Ross' superb skill is evidenced by, among other things, the way he has limned the hair tones, the lifelike quality of the skin, eyes, and lips, the texturing of the different fabrics, and the jewel-like depiction of the stickpin.
The painting is signed on the backing card, in pencil, "William Ross". The sitter's name is above that, but is unreadable due to rubbing and a stain. To the right of the signature is a small portion of a partial sketch Ross did of the outline of the sitter's head.
The condition of the painting is excellent, with no cracks, chips, restoration, or bowing. The sight size is 4 1/2" by 3 1/2", and the later frame is 6 1/4" by 5 1/4".
NOTE: Sir William Charles Ross (1794-1860) was born in London to Scottish parents, both of whom were painters and exhibited at the Royal Academy. From as young as 14 he showed great talent as an artist, and was admitted to the schools of the Royal Academy, receiving mentoring from Benjamin West. At 20 years old he became an assistant to Andrew Robertson, and by 23 years old he had received multiple awards and medals from the Society of Arts.
Ross acquired a sizeable and elite clientele, with Queen Victoria and the Duchess of Kent sitting for him in 1837. Members of the royal families of France, Belgium, and Portugal were also among his clients. At least 300 of his miniatures were deemed of a high enough quality to be exhibited at the Royal Academy.
He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1838, and made a royal academician in 1843, after having been knighted in June of 1842.