Miniature Painting of William Bainbridge
This miniature portrait of Commodore William Bainbridge was made in oil paint on ivory, and is housed in a golden frame. A piece of braided hair is also included in the frame, and is visible through the aperture on the frame’s reverse, but it is unclear whose hair this is. In the portrait, Bainbridge is shown from the chest up, wearing his dress uniform, and appears against a neutral, pale blue background. His curling hair is especially distinctive and makes him easily recognizable.
This miniature portrait was painted by Henry Williams (1787-1830), a Bostonian who specialized in miniatures. He painted most of his miniatures between 1808 and 1826, occasionally collaborating with another miniaturist named William M. S. Doyle. Williams was an accomplished artist who also published a book entitled Elements of Drawing in 1814. He probably painted this portrait in Boston around 1815, after Bainbridge was wounded. This was the same year that Williams began to work as a solo artist more frequently.