The Marchioness (Ilustration from Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop")

Alfred Jacob Miller1825-1870

The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum

Baltimore artist, Alfred Jacob Miller was a prolific sketcher. He filled many journals with drawings and captions from the time he was studying in Paris and Rome (1833) until the 1870's. In 1969 a collection of 100 of these sketches was generously donated to the Walters Art Museum by J. William Middendorf II. The interests of Miller are clearly reflected in these sketches: the theater (a large portion being quick figure drawings of the Ravel Pantomime Troupe), childhood memories, Baltimore scenery, and witty scenes of characters. (See The Walters Art Gallery Bulletin, April, 1969, Vol. 21, No. 7, Pages 3-4).

The nameless little servant girl was invited by Dick Swiveller to play cribbage in his room in Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop" (1841). After she nursed him through a serious illness, Mr. Swiveller married his "Marchioness." Miller was particularly drawn to the works of Dickens and drew illustrations to "Barnaby Rudge," "Martin Chuzzlewit," and "Little Dorrit," as well as "The Old Curiosity Shop."

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  • Title: The Marchioness (Ilustration from Dickens' "The Old Curiosity Shop")
  • Creator: Alfred Jacob Miller (American, 1810-1874)
  • Date Created: 1825-1870
  • External Link: For more information about this and thousands of other works of art in the Walters Art Museum collection, please visit art.thewalters.org
  • Roles: Artist: Alfred Jacob Miller (American, 1810-1874)
  • Provenance: L. Vernon Miller, by inheritance; Kennedy Galleries, New York [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Mr. and Mrs. J. William Middendorf II, New York; Walters Art Museum, 1970, by gift.
  • Object Type: albums; drawings; watercolors
  • Medium: ink, wash and white watercolor on paper
  • Inscriptions: [Inscription] Lower right: Street sketch
  • Exhibitions: Alfred Jacob Miller. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971., Alfred Jacob Miller: An Artist on the Oregon Trail. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 1981-1982., A Baltimore Watchman: An Exhibition of Drawings by Alfred Jacob Miller. Government House, Annapolis. 1996., Recollections of a Baltimore Artist: Sketches by Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1874). The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2004.
  • Dimensions: H: 8 3/16 x W: 5 7/16 in. (20.8 x 13.8 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. William Middendorf II, 1970
  • Classification: Painting & Drawing
  • Accession Number: 37.2468.3