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Lover's Eyes

Lover's Eyes

Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection

by Elle ShushanStephen Lloyd and Graham Boettcher
Publication Date: 14/09/2021

Until the early 2000s, little had been written about eye miniatures or "Lover's Eyes", and their short-lived popularity at the end of the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries, when hand-painted portraits of single human eyes were set in jewelry, or created to memorialize a deceased loved one.

This volume examines their role in the broader context of Georgian and early Victorian portrait miniatures; and looks in detail at the creation, and appeal, of these extraordinary objects. Dr and Mrs. David A. Skier's collection of eye miniatures is one of the most complete such collections of this genre of miniature painting anywhere in existence.

This volume features over 130 pieces from the Skier Collection, with 36 extraordinary newly acquired pieces, including two of the three known existing "Lover's Lips", and six examples of a delightful sub-category known as "Flower Eyes". There are illustrated essays on forgeries and fakes of lovers' eyes, on "Flower Eyes", on the persistence of the eye image which continues the tradition of lovers' eyes, and an essay on the eye miniatures created by Richard Cosway.

Antiques & collectables: pictures
Publication Date:
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Elle Shushan

Elle Shushan is a specialist dealer, author, lecturer and museum consultant. She is a member of the Antiques Dealers' Association of America, the British Antique Dealers' Association, CINOA, the Private Art Dealers Association and the Association of Historians of American Art.

Stephen Lloyd

Stephen Lloyd is curator of the Derby Collection at Knowsley Hall, Merseyside. His doctoral thesis on Richard and Maria Cosway formed the basis of his exhibition in 1995 to 1996 at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh and at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

From 1993 to 2009 he was Assistant Keeper and then Senior Curator at the SNPG where he curated many exhibitions on portrait miniatures and on art in Scotland around 1800. In 2008 to 2009 he curated (with Kim Sloan) at the SNPG and the British Museum the exhibition The Intimate Portrait: Drawings, Miniatures and Pastels from Ramsay to Lawrence.

He has edited two collections of essays, Henry Raeburn: Context, Reception and Reputation (with Viccy Coltman, 2012) and Art, Animals and Politics: Knowsley and the Earls of Derby (2016).

Graham Boettcher

Graham Corray Boettcher is the director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama.

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