This is a match made in heaven! I love the colors, vibrancy and creativity of this bird painting that I put in this extraordinary paint decorated frame. The watercolor painting is likely a young lady done for her pleasure and at her leisure. Art and needlework is about all that young woman in wealthy families did in the first decades of the 19th century after they had graduated from a girl’s academy. At academy, their curriculum had an emphasis on art, needlework and music. Of course, reading and writing was important also. Less important to the curriculum, but still necessary was arithmetic. So, when a wealthy young lady had graduated from school, she spent her time entertaining guests, often sharing music and painting. Life, of course, was quite different for the working class young women.
This beautiful exotic bird is painted with stencils for the large areas and freehand details. I can usually come close to identifying the type of bird, but this one seems to have come from the artist’s imagination. Painting an exotic animal that had never been seen was coming in early the 1800s and when one has not seen an animal, one must use the imagination.
I acquired the painting without a frame but my inventory at the time included this stunning paint decorated frame. The half-round outside edge and the inside edge of the frame is grain-painted to mimic tiger maple. Between the faux tiger maple, the frame-maker (who was an artist in his field) imitated rosewood. The combination of the vibrant exotic bird housed in this bright, beautifully grain painted just makes me smile. Sight size 4 7/8" x 6 1/8", framed size 8 3/8" x 9 1/2." The painting is circa first quarter of the 19th century and the frame is circa 1840