Folk Art

Tiny Watercolor Folk Portrait of Lady with Flowered Hat
  • This is one of two tiny little folk watercolor portraits of ladies who love their outlandish hats. In the early decades of the 19th century, women wore hats every time they left the house and they wore bonnets indoors. Milliners embellished hats with flowers, feathers and ribbons. The two ladies in these tiny folk portraits wear hats heavily adorned with flowers. They have so many flowers on their hats that one might think they were wearing flower pots! These paintings may have been the musings of a young lady practicing her art as privileged young woman did to pass their days and show friends and suitors how well-bred and educated they were. Perhaps, however, these profiles were the musings of a milliner designing new hats to make. I love for little pieces of art to tell me stories and these two tell lots of stories.

    This lady meets our view straight on. Her hat is gold and mustard stripes and looks for all the world like an urn filled with flowers. I’m not sure how to describe the side pieces that snake down the sides of her head—but I love them! Her hairstyle is presented with alternating light and dark brown that depict a center part with the hair pulled straight down to cover her ears and ringlets to cover her neck from ears to shoulders. Like her sister in profile, enlarging the photo shows that her necklace was painted with watercolor enhanced with tiny bits of gold foil—again, most has disappeared. Both are painted on laid paper which was repurposed from earlier use. On the back of this little lady is what appears to be the other part of the pencil sketch of her sister—but I can’t tell enough about it to see the subject. Framed in a period gilt frame (or frame liner) that measures 4 3/8” x 5 1/8”. Sold separately or together.

    #6971    Sale Pending