We seldom see portrait miniatures of men by Clarissa Peters (Mrs. Moses B. Russell, 1809-1854). So, this handsome young man is a scarcity just by his gender. The gent shares characteristics of Peters’ work with the children and women she painted. Like this gent, her subjects have oversized limpid eyes with eyelids and irises heavily outlined, and eyelashes painted with dark dots. These characteristics make the eyes the most prominent feature in her portraits. As we expect from Peters, this sitter’s mouth is small and seems a bit pinched in relation to his large eyes. Also as expected, Peters set off the young man’s mouth with small marks at each corner and a shadow below the lower lip. As we see here, Clarissa shows her sitter in a frontal pose of the head and shoulders, placing him close to the picture plane to create a sense of immediacy with the viewer. The pale skin tones she used contrast with the deep shades of his clothing. Collectors love the naïve charm of Clarissa Peters’ portrait miniatures because of these characteristics. The condition of the portrait is excellent. The pendant case is also in wonderful condition—but for a couple of lighter spots on the brass covering of the reverse. The hair receptacle has plaited blond hair. The chased brass pendant case measures 2 1/4" wide x 2 5/8” tall not including the hook and 3 1/4" tall including the hook. Circa 1845.
Please see the Folk Portrait Artists page for more information about Clarissa Peters (Mrs. Moses B. Russell) .