Bridport, Hugh - portrait of a young lady

Although unsigned, this miniature portrait of a young lady has been attributed to Hugh Bridport (1794->1870). Bridport was born in London, England where he exhibited three miniatures at the Royal Academy in 1813.

He emigrated to Philadelphia in 1816, where he joined his brother George Bridport. Although Hugh Bridport is well known as a miniature painter, he was also a portrait and landscape painter, an engraver, a lithographer, and an architect. He was a founding member of the Franklin Institute, where he taught drawing from 1826-1833.

This miniature gives the tight appearance of a work by an artist trained as an engraver and the pose is similar to other miniatures by Bridport. If the attribution is correct, the miniature is likely to be one of his middle period works, as the quality is a little less than his later miniatures which are of very high quality.

Johnson describes him as; "Bridport's early brushwork was loose, with the paint applied in broad washes; later the execution became crisp, tight, and highly finished. Backgrounds often show clouds and sky".

For a later example by Hugh Bridport in this collection, see Bridport, Hugh - portrait of a man where the highly finished state of his later miniatures, as referred to by Johnson, is more apparent. This separate reference also includes more comment on his life.

The reverse of the portrait as shown here, includes a preliminary sketch of the miniature. It is interesting to compare the finished miniature with the sketch, the chin has been softened a little in the final version.

Several other miniatures by Hugh Bridport show a shadow at the lower right as appears on the finished miniature, where the white mark appearing on the shadow is a rub which has occurred during the life of the miniature.

A thumbprint shaped shadow is a feature which is also found on many miniatures by of John Wood Dodge, but they tend to be more prominent on his work.

The sitter is unknown. 1282

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