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“The Reading Artist” Watercolor Portrait Pair of Jonathan & Anna Maria DeLong

Origin United States, Pennsylvania
Period 19th Century
Materials Watercolor & Pen on Wove Paper, Wood Frame.
W. 20.5 in; H. 16.5 in;
W. 52.07 cm; H. 41.91 cm;
Condition Good. Overall toning and staining. Repaired tear on man. Minimal paper loss to both figures. Frame is Period from combination of woods.
Creation Date 1835
Description “The Reading Artist” Watercolor Portrait Pair of Jonathan & Anna Maria DeLong

Watercolor portrait pair of Jonathan and Anna Marie DeLong. They are attributed to the anonymous artist known as “The Reading Artist” who was active between 1828 and 1850 in Lebanon and Berks Counties in Pennsylvania. This artist identified most of his subjects via inscription along the bottom of the paper in an embellished broken Gothic script. The artist sometimes included other details about the sitter as part of the inscription—including date of the portrait, birth, baptism dates, and military rank of the subject. Most of the sitters have German names and are depicted in full-length and often seated in paint-decorated chairs. In most indoor portraits, the sitter sits or stands next to a multi-paned window with draperies, patterned wallpaper and patterned floors. The interior rooms depicted by this artist have the accoutrements that I associate to the American Fancy period.

Jonathan DeLong was born in September 5,1799 in Lehigh County, PA. His parents were Christian & Anna Maria (Hensinger) DeLong. Jonathan died in 1848 and is buried in Lowhill Church Cemetery in Lowhill, PA under a tombstone with the name “Jonathan D. Long.” Jonathan’s family migrated to America early as his great grandfather, Peter (Pyeter) DeLong (DeLangh) was born in Germany in 1707 but by the time Peter died in 1768, he had migrated to Berks County, PA. Around 1818, our sitter, Jonathan, married Anna Marie Schnabel who was born August 12, 1800 in Berks County, PA. Together they had at least 14 children.

Styles/Movements: Folk Art, Traditional, Americana, Pennsylvania German.

Dimensions: Framed size: W. 20.5 in; H. 16.5 in; Paper each: W. 6.75 in; H. 9.75 in
Styles / Movements Americana, Folk Art, Traditional
Incollect Reference Number 329436
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