Object Description

A ‘Miss Schneider’ is recorded in William Wood’s fee book as no.679 (Southgate). She was likely the Miss A.C.A. Schneider who was married in 1801 (which would accord with the date of this portrait) to Mr. Charles Nicholay of Guildford Street. She was the daughter of Mr. John Henry Schneider of Southgate, hence the note in Wood’s record book.[1] The note on reverse of the miniature that refers to Congreve may have the sitter confused with Miss C. E. Congreve (daughter of Thomas Congreve) who married the either the sitter’s brother or father in the same year.

Wood entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1785 and is known to have been working from Bristol in 1791 and 1803 and from Gloucester in 1798. Wood became an active member of the Associated Artists in Watercolour and held the position of president between 1808 and 1809, exhibiting frequently with the group. His interests in the arts lay not just in miniature painting, and in 1808 he published An Essay on National and Sepulchral Monuments as well as reputedly displaying a keen interest in landscape gardening.

Wood’s artistic style was broad and confident, bestowing on his sitters a greater sense of movement, a quality not all dissimilar to the Regency portraitist Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1835). As well as portraits, Wood also painted subject and eye miniatures, larger watercolours and drawings. An acute technician, as well as a clever draughtsman, Wood experimented and managed to stabilise his colours on ivory, thus preserving the subtlest of chiaroscuro.

[1] The Gentleman’s Magazine, 1801, p. 275

Object History

Mr. Jeffrey Whitehead; Fine Arts Society, London, 1892; Collection of Charles E. Lees; Bonhams, Knightsbridge, 20 November 1997, lot 89; Private European Collection

London Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1889, case XVII, no.47, as Miss Schneider by Wood (lent by Jeffrey Whitehead); London Fine Art Society, 1892, no.440 as Miss Schneider by Wood

Object Classification

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