This is a really lovely watercolor folk portrait of a young woman (maybe in her teens) in a vibrant blue dress, cut low on the shoulders with puffy “Donna Maria” sleeves. Her close-fitting pleated bodice is belted at her natural waist and the full skirt comes to her ankles. Her laced up slippers have square toes and flat heels. In her proper left hand she holds the ribbon to her straw bonnet. The artist has even shown us the gathered pink silk lining of the bonnet. In her proper right hand, a yellow canary perches on her index finger. Around her neck, the young lady wears a necklace of large white beads and a green scarf tied in a bow. Her only other jewelry is a pair of long drop earrings – possibly gold. The girl’s strawberry blond hair is parted down the middle and drawn smoothly to tight side curls from her temples and covering her ears. The young lady has grey or hazel eyes that gaze intently at the viewer over her tiny bow-shaped mouth.
She stands on what appears to be a balcony upon a floor of large squares of marble. The wall of the balcony is low and solid. Her view is framed on one side by a half-drape of a rose color that is close to the color of her hair and is hemmed with a wide gold brocade border. The drape is held back with a gold-colored twisted rope with a large tassel. We see the top of a tree to the right of the portrait but most of the background is filled by a beautiful sunset sky in shades of blue and rose. Framed in a wonderful period paint decorated frame with old dry craquelere and wonderfully rippled bubbly glass. Framed size 13 1/4” x 10 7/8”. Circa 1835, American School.