A superb miniature portrait, done en grisaille on organic substrate, by Samuel Andrews. The sitter is an attractive woman with an elaborate wig and hair style, and wearing a cap and gold earrings. The painting is wonderfully executed, and with such skill that there is a three dimensional effect. The photos do not at all due it justice.
The painting is beautifully presented, surrounded by a gilt metal bezel, outside of which is a plait of hair, the whole in a red leather travel case. The condition of the painting itself is excellent; however, there is a tight hairline along the right side, and a section of the ivory is missing on the left. Neither of these actually go into or affect the figure. Sight size is 2 5/8" by 2 1/4", with an overall size of 3 3/4" by 3 1/4".
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Samuel Andrews (1767 - 1807) began his career as a miniaturist in England, and moved to Madras, India in 1791, then moving in 1795 to the same house previously occupied by John Smart. They possibly lived together or shared a studio, but regardless Smart was of great influence to Andrews and the two men must have shared client commissions as so many of their works relate to each other. It also appears that they painted miniature portraits of each other.
Andrews later moved to Calcutta where he painted some of his most celebrated profiles en grisaille. These demonstrate his attention to detail, particularly when creating highlights and depth. Andrews favoured Chinese white to add touches of light to sitters’ dress. His style clearly developed over his relatively long career, with obvious improvements in his depiction of dress by the early nineteenth century.
Andrews died in Patna, India in 1807. His paintings are sought after and are exhibited in many museums.