Anonymous, British school

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Anonymous, British school

Miniature portrait of Jane Austen, watercolor on ivory [England]

2 7/16 x 3 inches (64 x 76 mm)
AZ 078
Item description: 

Austen's niece Caroline recollected: "As to my aunt's personal appearance, hers was the first face I can remember thinking pretty. Her face was rather round than long, she had a bright, but not a pink colour—a clear brown complexion, and very good hazel eyes. Her hair, a darkish brown, curled naturally, it was in short curls around her face. She always wore a cap." Although it conforms, in some of its details, to Caroline Austen's description, this miniature, which depicts a conventionally pretty Austen, is an imaginary portrait. It is an idealized adaptation of the steel engraving made from James Andrews's improvement of Cassandra's sketch that first appeared as the frontispiece to J. E. Austen-Leigh's Memoir of Jane Austen in 1870.