Thursday, March 12, 2009

American Girls

Some of my very, very favorite portraits are of nineteenth-century children, so I was happy to learn that Little Miss Fairfield (1850) by William Matthew Prior is being displayed at the National Gallery in Washington, DC.

There’s something in this—and other antique children’s portraits—about the juxtaposition of cherubic cheeks with those formal clothes in a grown-up setting.

Not too, too long after my daughters were born, I decided to make them their own nineteenth-century portraits, using embroidery floss on linen. You’ll recognize my home in the back. And there's a bit of texture: the curls, flowers, and feathers are made from French knots.

The girls' first names and birthdates are cropped out, for their privacy, but I've left their middle names (of two beloved Prince Edward Island beaches) in place. You can see a hint of cross-stitched quilt squares in each corner.

And yes, I’d make my lad one, if I could figure how to dress him up. Did nineteenth-century boys wear Batman costumes for such portraits?


WendyB said...

Beautiful work!

Summer said...

Great post.I love those pics.;D
Great job..Hope to see more from you.
I hope you could put my blog link in your site.I would really appreciate it.;D Have a nice day.

Sal said...

What gorgeous work! Did they wear those bloomers when they posed? Or wait, did they pose at all?

Anonymous said...

Oh I love these! I used to do a ton of cross stitch. I hope you teach your daughters!