Watercolour Portrait of An Army Officer

Watercolour Portrait of An Army Officer



A naïve watercolour on paper portrait of a field officer from a line infantry regiment.

There is not enough detail to determine the exact regiment but the white plume to the shako dates the painting to between 1829 and 1835. The painting was probably done by an amateur and possibly a fellow officer. The background is very loose and sketchy but we can see there are some lancers to one side and two mounted officers to the other. To the back of the clearing is a forest and to the middle, partially hidden by the subject's legs, are some infantry.

The artist has used white to highlight the hands, belt, plume and sword. The lancer on the rearing horse is also well drawn. As you would expect, more attention has been paid to the face and it is quite well painted. Written in pencil, to the back of the picture, is 'Mrs James Maple Frame'. It is impossible to tell if this was a relation of the subject or a later owner. Although there are a few officers with the surname of James in the army lists of the period, most are either Lieutenants or below. If the officer's surname is indeed James, given his age, a likely candidate would be William James of the 26th Foot who became a Major on the 23rd of April 1828.

The painting has a little bit of deterioration to the red paint of the jacket but this doesn't look out of place with its naïve feel. It is in a maple frame with gilt slip. Circa 1835.


Height 50.15 cm / 19 "
Width 41.89 cm / 16 "
Depth 2.54 cm / 1 "

Circa 1835


Water Colour




Original Military Portrait

Receiving Orders

Some slight deterioration to some paint areas