New England, ca. 1840. Probably Rhode Island (or nearby Connecticut). Watercolor and pencil on paper. Young girl with patterned yellow dress, the colorful dresses prized over other JA Davis portraits in which dresses were typically black. In pencil, on the reverse, are the names “Cassandra Woodward" and "Mrs. Josiah Woodward". Cassandra being the sitter, Mrs. Josiah Woodward the mother. As with many folk artists in this period, Jane often took portraits of family and friends, so it is likely that the Woodward’s were friends and lived nearby. Her first recorded portrait was done in 1838 when she attended the Warren Ladies’ Seminary in Warren, Rhode Island. Terrific condition, the paper lightly toned. Presented in a fine period gilt frame which may be original. Frame size about 9 inches x 7 ½. For additional examples of Davis’s work, see “A Loving Likeness; American Folk Portraits of the Nineteenth Century”, pgs. 14 & 15. Also “Three New England Watercolor Painters”, pgs. 42–55. Provenance: Private New England collections.
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