Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: Adam Buck (1758-1833)



Figure 1.--Note details are available on this Buck painting. HBC believes it was painted in the 1800s. [Note by the 1800s, HBC means the first decade of the 1800s.

This Irish watercolorist was known as a portraist. He sometimes added chalk work to his watercolors. He also did pastel drawings. All of his paintings I have seen were portraits. He did some minatures and had a great reputation as a miniaturist. Hence there is painstaking details in his paintings. While he was an Irish artist, his pictures were not necessarily painted in Ireland. A lot of Buck's painyings that I have been able to find date from the 1790s.

Childhood

I have no information on his childhood or how he was dressed as a boy.

Education

I have no information on his education.

Body of Work

This gifted Irish watercolorist was known as a portraistist. All of his paintings I have seen were portraits. He did some minatures and had a great reputation as a miniaturist. Hence there is painstaking details in his paintings. Note the increbible detail in the closup of the boy's head. While he was an Irish artist, his pictures were not necessarily painted in Ireland. A lot of Buck's painyings that I have been able to find date from the 1790s. I'm not sure how active he was before that.



Figure 2.--This Buck portrait was a self portrait of his family. I'm not sure about the date. I would guess, however, the early 1800s.

One observer describes Buck as a designer, but I have no details on what he designed. I notice some china and pottery had Adam Buck paintings and designs. A jug was attributed to Enoch Wood and Sons (1818-1846), Burslem, Staffordshire, England, about 1830-1835. It was red earthenware, copper luster, and overglaze enamels. Gift of Mrs. Harold G. Duckorth 1999.24.3. Mother and child subjects depicted on ceramics are often associated with the designer and artist, Adam Buck. These romantic and endearing scenes achieved great popularity in the early 19th century. Jugs like this one conveyed beverages such as water, cider, and ale to the table. Its "copper" luster decoration is created by applying gold salts to the red earthenware body, where in the heat of the kiln the metal is deposited as a thin layer on the surface.

Family

I also have few details on his family accepted that he was mairred and had two children. I do not yet have detauls on the children as to their gender and when they were born. This is known from a portrait (date unknown) that Buck did of his family. The older child appears to be a boy who had not yet been breeched.

Children's Clothes

Buck's worth provides some marvelously detailed portaits of children's clothes in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The portrait of him and his family shows how younger children were dressed in simple frocks, although it is not clear if thecolder child is a boy or girl. Probably the child would have been dressed very simarly at that age. Several of his portarits show the skeleton suits with ruffled collars that boys wore. Some children wear ringlets, showing that this fashion began begore the turn of the 19th century. HBC can not, however, confirm that younger boys were wearing ringlets. Many children appear to have short hair.



Figure 3.--This pastel drawimg by Buck was executed in 1789 and shows the Edgeworth family. Maria Edgeworth faces her father, Robert Lowell. Several children are depicted, but I'm not sure about their gender. The child in the foreground with ringlets may be a boy, but HBC can noy yet comfirm that.




Christopher Wagner




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Created: April 27, 2000
Last updated: April 27, 2000