The Mystery & Intrigue of The Georgian Lover's Eye

The Mystery & Intrigue of The Georgian Lover's Eye

A Georgian lover's eye portrait refers to a type of miniature painting that was popular during the Georgian era, particularly in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These unique portraits depicted only the eye or eyes of a loved one, usually set within an oval or round frame. The rest of the face and identity of the subject were intentionally concealed.

Lovers Eye Portrait

I have long been fascinated with the Art of the Lover's Eye, the sentimentality and romanticism behind them has always captured my imagination.

Lover's eye portraits were often exchanged between lovers, spouses, or secret admirers. The purpose was to create a personal and intimate keepsake, allowing individuals to express their affection while maintaining an air of mystery and anonymity. The eye was considered a particularly expressive and revealing feature, capturing the essence of the person and their emotions.

The paintings were typically executed on a small scale, using watercolours or gouache on materials like ivory, card, or vellum. The portraits were often embellished with intricate details such as jewellery, flowers, or symbolic elements that held personal meaning for the couple.

 An example of two Lover's Eye Lockets

The popularity of Georgian lover's eye portraits can be attributed to several factors, including the influence of the Romantic movement, the rise of sentimentalism, and the desire for discreet forms of personal expression. They were often worn as jewellery, incorporated into brooches, pendants, rings, or lockets, allowing the wearer to keep their loved one's eye close to their heart.

Today, Georgian lover's eye portraits are highly valued as collectors' items and are admired for their historical significance, artistic craftsmanship, and romantic symbolism. They offer a glimpse into the intimate world of love and courtship during the Georgian era and continue to captivate art enthusiasts and historians alike.

At Milly's Marvels we are thrilled to offer this very special Edwardian Era rolled gold locket filled with a miniature portrait of a Lover's Eye. Encased under the domed glass are two hand painted Oil portraits depicting a Lover's Eye. The painting is a more recent commission by a talented local artist. Click here to shop this Lover's Eye Locket.

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