Dr. James and Lavinia Hall, South Freeport, Maine, ca. early 19th century. Attributed to John Brewster Jr. (1766-1854). Oil on canvas. Dr. Hall painted half-length, in black coat with white vest and tie. Lavinia Hall also half-length, with bonnet and lace collar. Set within superb period black painted frames with decorated corners.....Brewster was a deaf painter that rendered beautiful and ethereal portraits, in no small part his skill manifesting from his deafness. He developed an ability to create likenesses that have been described as in this passage by the American Museum of Folk Art "Brewster was especially sensitive to the sitters face, emphasizing his or her direct gaze as a deaf artist, eye contact became a moment of engagement and communication". Brewster was also known for broad flat areas of color to complement the soft, expressive facial features. Frame sizes: 30 inches tall x 25 1/2 wide. Condition: Tack edges missing; minor edge loss to each canvas. Minor in painting. Relined on new stretchers. Frames not original to the paintings yet are period and wonderful. Restored by Michael Heslip, Williamstown Art Conservation Center, Inc. Full restoration report available. Provenance: Private collection. Accompanied by the photocopy of a letter, dated 1932, between two cousins, descendents of the Halls, describing how the paintings had been handed down through the family. High res photos available.
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