ATTRIBUTED TO FRANCISZEK SMIADECKI ((ANGLO/POLISH fl.c.1660-1670)
Portrait miniature of a Gentleman, wearing a white lace falling collar with tassels, c.1670
Oil on copper
Later gilded metal frame with spiral cresting
Oval, 2.2in (57mm) high
European Private Collection
Very little is known about Smiadecki, who was born in either Poland or Russia. He is thought to have been tutored by Alexander Cooper in Sweden and worked primarily in oils on copper or vellum. The work of Smiadecki has only really gained the deserved recognition in the last fifty years, and like many other portrait miniaturists working in oils, Smiadecki did not always sign his work, making the possibility for study limited. The present work would appear to accord with his technique, particularly in the characterful observation of the sitter’s features and the carefully delineated lace jabot.
Smiadecki appears to have been one of many artists, most of whom were Dutch in origin, providing small scale oil paintings as an alternative portable form of portrait to the traditional watercolour miniature or limning. These varied in quality with some, such as the example here, were painted with exceptional skill.