Young woman in blue dress. Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.248-2008

Young woman in blue dress. Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.248-2008

Young woman in blue dress
Enamel on copper in silver and diamond frame, border possibly later
Jean-Baptiste Weyler (1747-91)
Paris, France
1785-90
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.248-2008

Born and trained in Strasbourg before moving to Paris, Jean-Baptiste Weyler is regarded as the best French enamel painter of his time. He painted miniatures on ivory and in pastels, as well as in enamel. This was not unusual as by the 18th and 19th centuries, many renowned enamellers were also pastellists or oil painters, not goldsmiths, jewellers or watchmakers as earlier portrait enamellists often were.

Some enamellers painted their sitters from life, as Weyler seems to have done in this miniature, using great skill to translate the woman's lively beauty into enamel. He was popular with contemporaries for his production of multiples of an image for commercial purposes, but this miniature shows that his strength was in 'real' portraits, of which he did very few.