Limner is also the term used to describe unattributed portraits commissioned by colonial America's rising mercantile class as status symbols. The local landowners and merchants who commissioned these portraits posed in their finest clothes, in well-appointed interiors or in landscapes that identified their position, property, good taste, and sophistication.
A late named artist who began in this genre is the Maine landscape artist Charles Codman, who in Eastern Argus (April 1, 1831) is described as an "ornamental and sign painter" or "limner" who practiced "Military, Standard, Fancy, Ornamental, Masonic and Sign Painting". See also the works of the Gansevoort Limner at the National Gallery of Art and of the Freake Limner at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco as well as the portrait by Erastus Salisbury Field at the Portland Art Museum
One of the earliest mentions of a limner's work was also found in the book Methods and Materials of Painting by C. L. Eastlake.
"The treatises cannot be placed later than the thirteenth or beginning of the fourteenth century. This was the age of Dante, and "the art which in Paris was called illuminating" (limning)."
The Queen's Elizabeth; As the royal painter and limner prepares for a new exhibition, she tells Anne Simpson why the next picture is always her favourite
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