Offered for sale is a pair of rare mid 19th century sandpaper still life pastels or marble dust paintings. The pastels are set on a dark burgundy background with pears, peaches, and grapes standing out in the forefront.
Sandpaper paintings were not actually done on sandpaper but prepared on boards or thick paper that were then painted white and sprinkled with a gritty marble dust. They were left to dry for about a week and then painted with charcoal or pastels. Many of the sandpaper paintings were executed in charcoal with monochromatic tones as the medium was perfect for capturing night scenes. Itinerant folk artists who traveled mostly in the Northeast during the mid to late 19th century produced the majority of these works, as well as schoolgirls.
The pair of pastels are nicely done by a skilled artist, as they showcase the luminosity of the fruit contrasted against a dark background. They are set into oval giltwood frames and are in very good condition. The piece with pears sustains minor scratches revealing the white background of the marble dust surface, and there are three beads of composition present on the inner border of that frame.
Size: 16 ½” Height by 14” Width.