Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
Enamel on copper in original gilded metal frame probably made or supplied by Hurter
Johann Heinrich Hurter (1734-99)
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.263-2008
Johann Heinrich Hurter's career began as an enamel painter, miniaturist and pastellist. In around 1777 he settled in London where he was reputedly appointed as a court painter. No documents exist to prove this, although he did make a number of portraits of Queen Charlotte, George IV, and some of their children.
This enamel miniature is based on a full-scale oil painting by Angelica Kauffman of John Spencer of Althorp with his sisters. Many enamellers used existing paintings or prints as the basis for their portraits. Miniatures could also provide new and portable versions of family portraits or offer the public an image of a famous sitter. Although painted in 1779, the Duchess is portrayed as she appeared in 1774, the year of her marriage to the 5th Duke of Devonshire, Two slightly different versions of this miniature exist.