Watercolor of Woman Overlooking Harbor

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Classical schoolgirl allegorical landscape scene featuring a woman in a yellow dress sitting by a harbor and welcoming a dove carrying an olive branch. American, 1805 – 1830. Watercolor on paper. Held in a period molded and gilt frame.

Why is it special? This Classical watercolor allegorical landscape scene belongs to a large group of schoolgirl artwork created in the beginning of the 19th century.  Similarities to schoolgirl needlework can be seen in the design and decoration of the large tree along the left side, the distant village landscape and the subject matter.  A Classical watercolor landscape scene is illustrated in “American Folk Art From the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center” by Beatrix Rumford, figure 85, pages 125 and 126.  The illustrated watercolor shows a family group sitting among trees by the seaside, with a view of a distant ship sailing on the horizon.   The watercolor was purchased by the Rockefellers in 1938 in Accord, Massachusetts, suggesting a Massachusetts origin.  It is dated by the authors as circa 1820 and is similar to another family group watercolor in the Nina Fletcher Little collection dated circa 1815.