The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Six Artists: Raphael, Annibale Carracci, Van Dyck, Andrea del Sarto, Titian and Rubens
  • Giuseppe Macpherson (1726 - c.1780)
  • Six Artists: Raphael, Annibale Carracci, Van Dyck, Andrea del Sarto, Titian and Rubens
  • c. 1770 - 1780
  • Miniature
  • Painted on ivory
  • Image size: 6.6 x 5.2 cm, each
  • Inscription: 'Antonio / Vandyck / No. 1; Anibale / Caracci / No. 4; Raffaello / da Urbino / No. 3 // Rubino / No. 2; Tiziano / Vecellio / No. 5; Andrea / Del Sarto / No. 6' Ink
  • M251
  • West Gallery II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Six miniature copies after self-portraits of great Italian and Flemish artists are combined in one frame. When the copies were painted the originals were believed to represent Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Titian, Annibale Carracci, Rubens and Van Dyck. Until recently, the miniatures were dated to the nineteenth century, a period with an almost obsessive interest in artists and their portraits. However, the miniatures are closely related to a series of 224 similar works documented as the work of Guiseppe Macpherson which entered the Royal Collection in 1773 and in 1786. The six portrait miniatures in the Wallace Collection all have exact counterparts in the larger series in Windsor.

    While the series in the Royal Collection is remarkable for its scope, covering artists from the late fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, the group of six in the Wallace Collection closely reflects artistic ideals of the time. Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Titian and Annibale Carracci were at the time seen as the highest embodiments of the classical ideal in Italian art, Rubens and Van Dyck as the pinnacle of Flemish art and as the greatest colourists of the seventeenth century.

    The series was perhaps acquired by the 3rd Marquess of Hertford and is first mentioned at Hertford House in 1834. Because of his close ties to the Prince of Wales, the future George IV, he was probably familiar with the series in the Royal Collection. The 3rd Marquess was too young, however, to have commissioned the miniatures himself from Macpherson.