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The Look of Love

Birmingham Museum of Art

The Look of Love

Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection

Dr. Graham Boettcher, contributions by Elle Shushan and Jo Manning

This stunning volume explores the little-known subject of "lover’s eyes," hand-painted miniatures of single human eyes set in jewellery and given as tokens of affection or remembrance. In 1785, when the Prince of Wales secretly proposed to Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert with a miniature of his own eye, he inspired an aristocratic fad for exchanging eye portraits mounted in a wide variety of settings including brooches, rings, lockets and toothpick cases.

Graham Boettcher discusses the history and function of lover’s eyes, as well as the language and symbolism of their jewelled settings; Elle Shushan examines their role in the broader context of Georgian and early Victorian portrait miniatures; and Jo Manning offers five fictional vignettes imagining the circumstances surrounding the creation of these extraordinary objects.

OUT OF PRINT

Hardcover

208 pages

7.4" x 7.4" 

Published 2012

Exhibition Dates: February 07, 2012 - June 10, 2012