Unattributed - Portrait of a lady in black dress
Portrait of a lady gesturing meaningfully to a micromosaic brooch, representing the Pantheon in Rome, pined to a black evening gown profusely ornate with lace.
Probably American, mid 19th century
Unsigned oil on canvas
Image size 30.5 x 36 cm (12" x 14" 3/16)
With frame 45.7 x 50.8 cm (18" 1/4 x 20" 1/2)
By mid 19th century, a daguerreotype portrait was widely used and inexpensive, acquiring a painted portrait became a distinction of the wealthy.
It is interesting to see how the artist used his skill to show the status of the sitter in our portrait: fine detail in the lace, earrings, brooch and the soirée dress by itself are all symbols of luxury associated with a a lady of culture of the upper class or the rising mercantile class.