The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
General Conway
  • Christian Friedrich Zincke (1683 - 1767)
  • General Conway
  • England
  • c. 1740 - 1746
  • Miniature
  • Painted on enamel
  • Image size: 4.8 x 4 cm
    Frame size: 6.4 x 4.8 cm
  • M314
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Christian Frederick Zincke was born in Dresden and came to London in 1706. He trained with Charles Boît (1662-1727) a leading enamel painter. Zincke’s portrait miniatures are celebrated for their high finish and exquisite colours, yet are repetitive in their poses and show little individuality in the sitters.

    Henry Seymour Conway (1719-1795), was the younger brother of the 1st Marquess of Hertford. When the miniature was painted he was in his early twenties and at the beginning of a long career which made him the most prominent member of the family in the eighteenth-century. His military career began in 1737 and in 1741 he was elected Member of Parliament. As an officer he took part in the War of the Austrian Succession, the battle of Culloden and the Seven Years War. In 1755 he became Chief Secretary for Ireland, beginning the high-profile career which he was to pursue in tandem with his service in the army until 1784. Its pinnacle was in 1765 when he was nominated Secretary of State in the Rockingham administration.

    Around the time the miniature was painted, Seymour Conway was pursuing a relationship with Lady Caroline Fitzroy, who may have been the intended recipient of the miniature. The expensive frame, set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds, suggests an important recipient. It could also have been intended for his future wife, Caroline Bruce, Countess of Ailesbury, whom he married in 1747. Both theories would explain why the miniature remained within the Seymour Conway family.