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Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature
Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature

Antique Portrait of a Beautiful Young Woman Knitting, Servant? Nun Novitiate? HUGE Miniature

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A personal favorite of mine, this doesn't quite qualify as a portrait miniature, though it's a small painting done in gouache on a very large natural wafer, which follows the basic constraints and habit of the genre. But that panel is 8.25" x 6" in the aperture of her frame, and the frame is 14" x 11.5", well out of the 'miniature' realm. Still, intimate in both size and subject, a rather forlorn young blond with her sad green eyes poses with her knitting in her lap, in a simple chair. I haven't the story to tell. She tells her own. In my imagination, though, she is an unwilling novitiate to a nunnery, she dates c.1840-80. At once a child and a woman, her bodice gaping, her fate is not of her own making. Isn't it an exquisite thing!  I will say, I have only one other portrait on a natural wafer this large and it is of France's last Empress, Eugenie, wife of Louis-Napoleon (Napoleon III).

Very good to excellent for age and type. The extra large natural wafer/slabs, thin and dried, are a bit prone to hairline cracks as the material shrinks a bit with age and dryness. You can see this one has 2 hairlines in the upper right quadrant, one about 1" and the other about 3/4" in from right edge blends in but does traverse the length. I have not ever taken her out of her frame. I don't suggest it for the fragility. I think she's been stabilized from behind, if I were to guess, as that very tight hairline all but disappears. Protected well under a very old slightly wafer cover glass, and in her original frame of fine quality oak, she is stunning still. Note the unique round joints/corners and the way the superb old frame was built. Fine quality. I guess the other story might be that she was a young maid/servant, but mistress or beloved of someone in the household. Full measurements noted on photos.