William Massey Doyle was one of America’s earliest home-grown silhouettists. A very artistic man, Doyle worked created silhouettes, watercolor, oil and pastel portraits and portrait miniatures. His profiles were both hollow-cut and painted. He embellished his hollow-cut silhouettes with watercolor hair and additions to the sitters’ clothing around the edge. We know that he was working in silhouette at least as early as 1806. His silhouettes were reproduced in the early 20th century, and one must always be careful about what you buy. If you are paying for a 19th century silhouette, make sure you are getting a 19th century silhouette. Doyle’s authentic 19th century silhouettes are scarce. I’m pleased to be offering several different ones to you at this time. This is an authentic Doyle hollow-cut silhouette with watercolor embellishment and Doyle’s hand signature. The lady wears a frilled collar with a bow at bust. She bears that funny bust enhancing curve that Doyle frequently used with women. The hair knot at back of head is cut and enhanced with watercolor. The knot is held in place with a small watercolor comb. She resides in a 5 ¾” x 4 7/8” period gilt frame with a simple églomisé mat and a brass hanging loop. Paper toned and creased vertically (but crease stays strong and paper untorn}. The églomisé is period but restored and sealed on back with clear varnish. Unfortunately, the silhouette was placed directly behind the églomisé and is stuck in the bottom right corner, I replaced a modern black paper backing paper with a period blackened paper. Circa 1820.
Please see the Silhouettist Bios page for more information about William M.S. Doyle.