Exceptional Schoolgirl Coastal Riverscape or Inlet and Townscape
New England, ca. 1820.
Likely Portland Maine.
Watercolor, pen & ink, on paper.
This painting excels with boldly saturated blues and verdant greens and a composition rich with cool vignettes, featuring a large ocean sailing ship, flying the American flag, likely safely anchored from the Atlantic within the river; a foreground young woman “Hope” (with anchor) in front of a large memorial with flaming urn below a stylized willow; a riverside compound of buildings with central clock-tower, a sailboat with formally attired young man and woman being rowed by a gentleman (perhaps their chaperone), and a pair of stylized swans (lower left).
Note how the foreground and townscape shorelines are shaped to emulate waves, and the complex sponging of the tree leafing. Superb condition with minor foxing at top. Long ago (now lost) accompanied by a paper signed "Mary Louise Mussey", likely the artist.
In a gilt frame that is likely original, about 17 ¾ inches wide x 14 tall.
Provenance includes a private midwestern collection; Jon and Rebecca Zoler, Sotheby’s 2005; private Portland Maine collection; F.O. Bailey, 1988.