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Sturtevant J Hamblin (Attributed)

Superb Folk Portrait by Sturtevant Hamblin

Period 19th Century
Materials Oil on Canvas
W. 22.25 in; H. 27 in;
W. 56.52 cm; H. 68.58 cm;
Condition Good. See blacklight image
Creation Date 1845
Description his is a superb oil on canvas folk portrait attributed to Sturtevant Hamblin (or Hamblen) of what is known as the Prior-Hamblin School of artists. This young teenage girl wears with a vivid blue dress, a coral branch necklace, earrings, pink & blue hair ribbon and holding a red book. I love the way the two dominant colors (pink/red & blue) really involve the viewer. First, the blue draws you in to the canvas and your eyes go immediately from the blue dress up to the sitter’s blue eyes. The pink draws you to her face with the pink rouging of her cheeks and lips, and the ribbons which frame her face. Then your eyes follow the red down to her necklace, embroidery in her lace, red book and the red chair which peeks out from behind. She wears simple good earrings (we only see one) and a gold band on her index finger.
This beautiful teenage girl is attributed to Sturtevant Hamblin. As expected of Hamblin, the girl’s index finger is longest with each getting progressively shorter to the pinky. Also, in accordance with Hamblin’s style, her fingers are separated by brown lines and the same brown defines her nails. Her upper lip is a slightly darker tone than the bottom lip and the lips are separated by a brown line. Her chin is defined by Hamblin’s inverted arc just below her mouth. Because she sits at a slight angle away from the viewer, the painting does not appear as symmetrical as Hamblin’s portraits of children looking straight ahead. This is really a well-composed folk portrait.
Provenance is shown with three partial labels on the stretcher showing that the portrait was displayed in Edith Halpert’s Downtown Gallery and American Folk Art Gallery. Edith Halpert was instrumental in creating interest in folk art with important collectors, such as Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, who bought avidly from Halpert. It is as if anything that exhibited in Halpert’s galleries had a stamp of approval. Halpert had a great eye and an understanding of the tie between Modern and Folk Art. There are folk art collectors today who collect pieces from Halpert’s galleries and personal collection as a subset of their collections. This portrait was exhibited between April 13 – May 1, 1937 in Children in American Folk Art, 1725-1865: Children's Art, Their Portraits, and Their Toys as number 65 in the exhibition.
Styles / Movements Folk Art
Dealer Reference Number 6427
Incollect Reference Number 336858
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