"Bringing In The May"
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.
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER
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