Beautiful antique school girl silk embroidered needlework picture with watercolor painted faces, hair, hands, arms and sky, most likely by a professional artist given their fine detail and expression. It depicts a young lady, in a pastoral setting, carrying a bowl while walking towards a young man wearing a black, plumed hat and attire of the late 18th Century. In the background, on a hillside cave, a bearded old man wearing a rustic wool cloak lifts his hand in a warning gesture. This intriguing composition is most likely based on a painting or engraving of a mythological, biblical or theatrical subject popular at the time. The tree on the right is embroidered in an early, raised needlework technique known as stumpwork. Silkwork embroidered pictures were the culmination of schooling for affluent young ladies c. 1780-1840. The young lady who made this picture was probably around 15 years old and had already surpassed the stage of embroidering alphabets and samplers. Silk embroidered pictures were status symbols at the time. They were often beautifully framed and proudly displayed to show the family's affluence and wherewithal to send their daughters to the best schools. Silk embroidered pictures are considered to be the finest needlework of the time. The embroidery and its backing is in remarkably good condition with bright colors, some loose threads and minor imperfections as shown. Un-examined outside of frame which still has old paper backing. Photographs were taken through glass which explain reflections. Losses to gilt wood and gesso frame, mostly to sides. Shipped fully insured with tracking number.
Measurements: Frame: 17.5" by 15.5"; visible image: 14 3/4 by 12 3/4" approximately.