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Portrait of a Young Woman Attributed to John Samuel Blunt
Massachusetts, ca. 1830. Oil on canvas in original frame with a high-state of originality. The confident young woman is identified on the back of the canvas as LENORA FISH of UPTON, MASSACHUSETTS. Consistent with other portraits by Blunt, she is lavishly attired and adorned with gold jewelry. As a further expression of wealth, the "high style" elaborate curled coiffure would have required a skilled maid to set so precisely. A French-twist is held by a large tortoiseshell comb. The ends of her long hair are oiled and curled and set with pins. Ringlets hang down her neck......The "golden" landscape over her shoulder and red sofa are seen in other portraits by Blunt.....John Samuel Blunt (1798-1835) was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Owing to his short life and the relative scarcity of signed works, scholarship on him has been limited. Nina Fletcher Little first brought serious critical attention to Blunt with her landmark article "J. S. Blunt, New England Landscape Painter" published in Antiques (September 1948). Robert Bishop wrote a dissertation on Blunt in 1980 and curated two exhibitions featuring works by him. Labeled as the "Borden Limner" until research by Bishop firmly linked him to Blunt. Blunt painted miniatures, ship ornaments and signs, portraits, landscapes, and is well known for his marine art. Works by Blunt can be seen in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, American Folk Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, New Bedford Whaling Museum, Portsmouth Athenaeum, and Strawbery Banke Museum. Excellent condition and surface. Never lined. Frame size about 35 1/2 inches long x 30 1/2 wide. .
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