Portrait of a Young Lady by William Kennedy (1818- after 1870) dated 1845.
Marvelously intense, serious yet sensitive, this young woman is a masterpiece of adult folk portraiture in the Prior tradition of producing inexpensive portraits quickly, yet capable, as was Prior, of perceptive observation and skillful design.
The details of translucent lace, a mosaic brooch, and a dreamy landscape that frames her upper body, surrounded otherwise by evening light and holding a red book that could not in the darkness be read.
The painting is wonderfully preserved and signed and dated on the backboard and frame. Later notation, pencil inscribed, relates, "French family her aunt Solt in Bristol/Aunt of Mrs. Lorenzo Sherman/ Kingston Rhode Island."
The work is 20 x 14 1/2 inches, on artists' board with a traditional wooden backboard behind it and framed in a mahogany veneered frame from which the liner has been removed to expose more of the painting's edges.