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Stephen & Carol Huber: 17th - 19th Century Needlework

Boston Needlework picture c.1760 - Huber

"Bringing In The May"
Needlework Picture
Boston, MA c.1760

This charming c.1760 Boston needlework picture featuring a young lady with flowers in her hair holding a large garland, a young man picking fruit, and boy running, is lavishly embroidered with numerous flowers, exotic birds, animals and brick buildings in the background. Most of the known canvaswork (all over needlework) pictures are copied from, or influenced by, early French and English prints. Some motifs are also found on mid-18th century Boston samplers such as the leaping stag with exaggerated antlers and bounding pursuing dogs.

Mid-18th century Boston needlework pictures usually coincide with the climax of a young lady's education, the makers are usually in their late teens or early twenties. This small group of canvaswork pictures are sometimes referred to as "fishing lady pictures", a phrase coined in a 1923 article. In reality, as more examples have been discovered, "fishing ladies" appear in a fraction of the whole genre. Equally represented are shepherdesses reclining or standing, ladies carrying flower baskets, or holding wreaths, or garlands, or individuals playing musical interments. What they usually have in common is a depiction of a young couple engaged in some activity enveloped in a beautiful pleasant bucolic setting with various animals and birds, and often buildings in the background.

Silk and wool on linen; 20 ¾" x 20 ¼" framed.


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