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Poultney, Richard Curzon - portrait of a young lady


This is an interesting miniature portrait. It is signed with a monogram and date "R C P 1889" for Richard Curzon Poultney. Poultney is described in Blattel as a British artist, but research has shown that he was actually American.

The miniature is interesting as it is the earliest American miniature in this collection showing the influence of the brighter palette associated with Impressionism.

Most miniatures prior to this date were trying to imitate photographs. However, it seems Poultney went and studied in Europe and was influenced by the Art Nouveau style. This miniature seems much more like a life portrait, than a copy of a photograph.

Poultney was a member of a very wealthy family from Baltimore, Maryland. He was born in 1860 and died as still a young man in 1897. If he had lived longer, it seems almost certain he would have become as well known as other 1900 miniaturists such as WJ Baer, Alyn Williams, and Eulabee Dix.

There are two references that record Poultney as an artist. The Baltimore directory for 1890 lists him as an artist living at 1320 Bolton St , Baltimore. Then on Jul 30 1894 he arrived back in USA from Europe on the SS Umbria, giving his occupation as artist.

In the 1880 census he is recorded as living with his parents Thomas and Susan Poultney and siblings in Baltimore where his father was with the Baltimore Oil Company.

His uncle Walter de Curzon Poultney (1845-1929) who also worked for the oil company was a well known socialite of the time.

Other miniatures by Poultney are held by the Maryland Historical Society, one of which seems to be of a close relation, see Maryland ArtSource - Collections - Nancy Poultney Falconer (Mrs ...

Unfortunately, the sitter in this portrait is unknown. 1245

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