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Painted Profile Portraits in High Relief with Textile and Paper Enhancement
Northeast, ca. 2nd quarter, 19th century. Paint, cloth, and paper on wood and/or wax within deep oval shadow boxes fronted with glass and brass. Suprisingly exceptional detailing. Had to be a more expensive process, and required more skill, than many other forms of portraiture. Typically three-dimensional profiles like these are carved from wax, yet the underside of the male portrait indicates that the carving, at least in part, to be wood. The carvings are well modeled. The gentleman in a beautiful high collared buttoned sage-green coat, with characteristic early 19th century forward brushed hair, a portion of the hair standing free above his face. The lady in a short-sleeved white dress tied at the high-waist by a real textile ribbon. Her bonnet, which appears to be cut paper topped with real ribbon, reveals a tuft of hair. The back of her work covered in paper, his uncovered showing white pine. Both have the museum accession numbers as acquired in 1959. Each about 6 3/4 inches tall x 5 1/2 wide x 1 1/2 deep. Excellent condition. Hers has paint brushup to the blue-paper background only, lower left, that may have lightened since first applied, otherwise they appear untouched. Private collection; deaccessioned in 2010 from the Campbell-Whittlesey House in Rochester, New York a Greek Revival home on the National Register of Historic Places, formerly serving as a museum operated by the Landmark Society of Western NY. High resolution photos easily emailed. High res photos show the nuances of a skilled artist.
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