Allegorical Neoclassical depictions became the new representation of the self in the Romantic movement, to offer one’s love to another. Considering society had been presenting mourning as a fundamental final judgement or a depiction on the state of the body’s decay, showing love almost seems to be the far opposite of this, without the direct showing of the self.
Looking at this miniature, knowledge of ancient stories and narrative is the key to deciphering its meaning. At a time when this rediscovery of knowledge and its spread through society and fashion was as much about status as it was for learning. There are two ways to this interpretation; the recognition of the scene or the acknowledgement of the scene for its obvious value. Hence, others who see it can appreciate its statement as a piece of romantic art understand its importance to the wearer or its presentation, while others can study it for its historical meaning.
The reverse of the piece is the element which reflects the nature of the miniature. Hairwork in the reverse of miniatures was a common element to their design and construction; intrinsic to their sentimental reason of being.
To discover more about this miniature, it is good to look through these contemporary pieces:
> “Mourn, oh Cupids and Venuses!”
> A Lantern Lights the Way / Neoclassical Sepia Brooch
> “Le Plus Loin Le Plus Serre” – “The further the distance the tighter the knot” Sepia Miniature
> Grisaille Miniature Portrait
> Idyllic Sentimental Neoclassical Miniature
> Romantic Sentimental Miniature
> Circular Neoclassical Mourning Miniature
> Possible John Wood Dodge Miniature
> A Father, A Daughter and an 18th Century Miniature Portrait
> Spotlight On: Mourning Miniature
> A Jean Petitot Louis XIV Enamel Pendant?
> Double Portrait Miniature Brooch / Romantic and Idealised Love x 2
> Simple But Effective, Watercolour Hairwork Pendant
> Spotlight On: Portrait Miniature