I. Thomason, Silhouettist

(fl. in Dublin 1790-1792)


From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

He did "profile miniatures" in black upon a ground of plaster composition, in the style of Miers. After working for ten years in London and in Cheshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire, he came to Ireland early in 1790 and remained over three years in Dublin, afterwards visiting Kilkenny and other parts of the country. In an advertisement issued by him in March, 1790, he announced that he had come over with the intention of settling in Dublin ("Dublin Chronicle," 16th March, 1790). He had his studio at 25 South Great George's Street, and afterwards at 33 Capel Street. His profile miniatures are frequently met with; they are oval, about 3 ¾ by 3 inches, and set in gilt frames, and have pasted on the back the artist's advertisement: "Perfect Likenesses in Miniature Profile, Taken by I. Thomason on a particular Plan and reduced to any size which preserves ye most exact Symmetry and animated expression of ye Features superior to any other method. Set in elegant gilt Frames at 6s. 6d. only. Likenesses set in Rings, Lockets and Pins, etc. He keeps ye Original Shades and can supply Those he has once taken with any Number of Copies, reduces old Ones and dresses them in ye present Taste. N.B.—Time of Sitting from Ten to Two and from Two to Five in the Evening, when each Person is detain'd 2 Minutes only. All Orders Post-paid will be duly attended to at No. 25 South Grt. George's Street."

In an advertisement in May, 1790, he says: "As one main object of his settling here is to accommodate country people he hath something new and particular to propose: Any number of ladies and gentlemen, not less than three, desirous of getting studies, but do not come to Town, may, by directing a line as above, have such Instructions sent as will enable even those who do not draw to take correctly each other's shades from life, which may be sent to be finished in Town, and they may rely on having the same justice done them and every mistake as particularly rectified as if present on the spot without any additional charge whatever" ("Dublin Chronicle," 18th May, 1790).

Thomason left Dublin in 1792, as appears by a farewell advertisement from 33 Capel Street: "He returns his most grateful acknowledgments to the public for the extraordinary encouragement given him. He informs them he has determined to leave Dublin early in May, therefore requests those who wish for good likenesses not to let slip an opportunity that perhaps never will return; also requests those who have shades left with him may be sent for (sic), and that all old shades wanted to be reduced may be sent to him, as his departure is positively determined on" ("Dublin Chronicle," May, 1792).

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