A magnificent and larger-than-usual gouache painting of a very beautiful woman, done on thin wafer. The detail of this one is truly exceptional, from the moire silk of her belt to the dimensional lace collar, to her beautiful brown eyes. She dresses in a mourning outfit, black silk trimmed in a bow and belt of moire silk. From her fashion and the frame work, we know the painting was completed in 1830s to early 1840s. A large wafer, it has no imperfections to the painting, though there is a small warp to the wafer, which is flattened when in place with its original convex cover glass. Likewise, the wooden mat has some warp to it, and at some point a split down center which has been repaired. Framed in a period and original wood frame with gesso or plaster appliqué which has been gilded, it misses one small section of appliqué at the aperture, as shown. Measurements are noted on our photos for your review. Her face is just 7/8" from chin to hairline. Frame is 7 7/8" x 7" x. 1".
Very good condition throughout, with painting ranking excellent but for a tendency to show a warp when not held flat by its convex cover glass. I've tried to show it with a sideward image. The glass does completely flatten it. This is not so unusual for the nearly 200 year of larger wafers, yet it bears a notation. The frame is excellent but for a small section of loss to the gesso or plaster appliqué. A touchup with matching gilding would help to hide it, but we will leave that decision to her next owner. The wooden black-lacquered mat with beveled oval in gold is bent, warped at some point to the point it had split down the center. That split has been repaired. The mat fits slightly bowed in its frame, but display is just beautiful. A mourning painting, this woman has either lost a parent, spouse or perhaps her own child. The painting is so beautiful, and yet it went unsigned by the artist. Superb piece!
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