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' Lady Louisa Grey ' ( 1771-1830) Andrew Plimer (English 1763-1837) Watercolour on Ivory , circa around 1800. Private Collection.
Andrew Plimer (1763-1837) was one of the most distinctive miniaturists of the 18th century. He was a prolific artist and much copied both during and after his lifetime. Andrew and his brother Nataniel were the sons of a Shropshire clockmaker. Having rejected their father's trade , they ran away to London where in 1781 Andrew became a servant to Richard Cosway. Plimer assisted Cosway in his studio with the preparation of materials, and it is thought that Cosway recognised Plimer's artistic potential and gave him lessons. In 1785 Plimer left Cosway to set up on his own and quickly established himself. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1786 -1830 and built up some close connections with some of the leading miniaturists of the day.
Lady Louisa Grey was born in St James, London, and was the daughter of George Harry Grey 5th Earl of Stamford , 1st Earl of Warrington and Henrietta Cavendish Bentnck, daughter of the 2nd Duke of Portland.
Not much can be gleaned of the life of Louisa although it appears, through her presence in numerous court circular columns in The Times newspaper ,she was a well-known and popular lady of title.
' St Albert tied to a Tree 'José de Ribera (Spanish 1591-1652) Red chalk on paper, circa 1626. The British Museum, London
The expatriated José de Ribera (1591-1652) was known in Italy as "Lo Spagnoletto" (or the 'little Spaniard') De Ribera enjoyed the luxury of international patronage , from Spanish Royalty to the Roman Catholic Church. Throughout his career he was commended for his ability to depict mental and physical suffering , with sensitivity for line and light .