Probably Maryland. Signed and dated in pencil, upper right back of frame "William W. Kennedy/1854". Oil on artist board. Exhibiting unusually fluid brushwork, this important signed and dated portrait is a superior example of Kennedy's artistry, illustrating an especially attractive young woman. It rises above his more formulaic, symbolic likenesses and is painterly and spontaneous while portraying a quiet confidence. Note the background flowers, a feature associated with Kennedy. In a superb state of preservation; professionally cleaned of yellowed over-varnish, mint condition with no restoration. The original frame was expertly re-veneered. Painting size about 17 inches x 13 3/4. Frame 20 3/4 x 17 3/4. Kennedy (1818-after 1870) was a native of New Hampshire and itinerant member of the Prior-Hamblin school of painters. He painted in New Bedford, MA in 1845; Ledyard, CT in 1846; and Berwick, ME in 1847. By 1850 he had moved to Baltimore, MD where he lived just a few doors away from William Matthew Prior. Provenance: "Important Americana" Sotheby's, February 1, 1986, lot 434. Collection of folk art historians and authors' "Mr. and Mrs Howard Fertig", Livingston, NJ. Exhibited: "The Fertig Collection of Folk Art" The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ, 1991; David Schorsch; Don Olson; private Southern collection..
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