Miniature Painting The Burnish Sisters William Matthew Prior framed in Cherry wood
This lovely folk art print on canvas has the texture of an oil. Sometimes called fold art or primitive country , this cherry wood framed printed painting is just a wonderful depiction of the not so rich, but not so poor children in the 1800's.
In the first half of the 19th century, before photography made it possible to have inexpensive true likenesses, portrait painters worked in most urban cities & often traveled from small town to small town, memorializing their clients for future generations..
A label attached to the back of Prior’s portrait Nat Todd, painted about 1848, announced: “PORTRAITS /PAINTED IN THIS STYLE!/Done in about an hour’s sitting./Price 2,92 including Frame, Glass, & c./ Please call at Trenton Street/East Boston/WM. M. PRIOR.”.To accommodate the tastes and modest means of his aspirational middle- and working-class clientele, this 19th-century, Maine-born itinerant folk portraitist obligingly devised three distinct styles of painting at three different price .
Prior (1806-73) found his niche as the poor man's Gilbert Stuart, depicting moderately successful merchants and their wives, charming children and, atypically for his day, middle-class African-Americans. .
This miniature is of Fanny P. Burnish / Age 6 / Mar 25 on the right and on the left: Levenia R. Burnish / age 3 July 21st 1854 . The framed canvas measures 10 1/2" x 10" and came from the estate of one of the largest doll collectors in Florida. This is one of two from her estate and I hope that it gets a home as loving and as wonderful as she was.
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