Wednesday, 10 April 2013

John Keats?

Bonhams auction house in Knightsbridge is leading its Fine Portrait Miniatures sale on 30 May with what it describes as a "spellbinding" miniature of John Keats, put up by an American collector. The portrait comes in a red leather travelling case and the lower rim is engraved "John Keats 1795-1821". So it must have been painted after his premature death from TB and probably by a jobbing artist who had never seen him, alive or dead. The wide-eyed, slightly chubby schoolboy with a roundish face looks nothing like any other portrait of John Keats I've seen. It's vaguely attributed to the Circle of Charles Hayter, estimated value £10,000 to £15,000. Date? 1830s? A facsimile appeared in print in 1933 (CLICK).


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