Portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

This is a version of a miniature by the duc de Montpensier which perhaps depicts the young Percy Bysshe Shelley while he was a pupil at Syon House Academy in Twickenham. Sir Percy and Lady Shelley bought Montpensier’s portrait at the sale of the art collector Edward Cheney, of Badger Hall, Shropshire, and commissioned Reginald Easton, a miniaturist highly regarded for his portrayals of children, to make this copy. It was clearly intended as a partner for Easton’s miniature of Mary Shelley; the two portraits are in matching Asprey’s frames and leather boxes. Easton has colourized the more delicate original, and has apparently followed advice given to Lady Shelley by the poet’s sister Hellen to keep Shelley’s forehead white and his eyes deep blue.

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Watercolour and bodycolour on ivory laid on card, oval, 96 x 76 mm

In an ornate gilt frame made by Asprey of London (matching Portrait of Mary Shelley)