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American & European Paintings - September 2008
 
 
painting
 
Unknown Artist
(Probably American, c. 1815)
Pair of Pendant Portraits: Woman
Pastel on paper, 8 3/4 × 7 3/4 inches (sight)

Note: this work is offered as a pair with Pair of Pendant Portraits: Man
RS 6284


During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries it was common for couples to have pendant portraits of themselves painted in oil, often shortly after their marriage or some other significant event. A less expensive alternative was to commission smaller pastel portraits, such as this pair of an unknown man and woman. These portraits were formerly attributed to the British-born pastel portraitist James Sharples (c. 1750–1811), who along with his son James Sharples, Jr. (c. 1788–1839), specialized in the genre.


  


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