Sunday, June 17, 2012

The 'eyes' have it (or not)

Have you ever hoped to confirm the identity of a sitter only to hear
an expert say, 'it is not this person because the eye colour is wrong'?

Did Georgian and Regency miniature painters really alter eye colour on a whim?  Although inconclusive in 'proving' the practice was widespread, these two images of obviously the same sitter, both signed by the same artist, do show that the eye colour 'myth' is no chestnut!

Both miniatures are signed and dated 1815

This example suggests that the above statement on identification 
may not be taken as absolute fact and perhaps facial features
  are more relevant in identification than colour of the eyes.


  1. It makes me wonder - did they have the second painted because the sitter/person paying for the portrait wanted the eyes to match reality, or because they wanted them not to? The blue-eyed portrait looks overall fairer to me.

  2. Interesting... I also noticed the background of the portrait with the hazel eyes is blue... where the blue-eyed portrait has a golden-moss (hazel) background color which contrasts the eye-color.