Silk Embroidered picture
New England c.1810
This beautiful and elegant silk embroidery depicts the story of Maria.
Maria was a popular subject for school girls to stitch or paint. The heroine of Lawrence Sterne's (born 1713) novel,
"Sentimental Journey Through Italy and France" published in 1768 just three weeks before his death.
Its emphasis on sentiment became a popular genre for travel writings in the late eighteenth century. Most travel
based stories of that period emphasized classical learning and objective observations.
Maria, who lost her clarity of mind after being jilted by her fiancé, went wandering with her pipe (flute)
and a goat (who also deserted her). She acquired a dog, Sylvio, and kept him tethered to her stating, "thou
shalt not leave me" which had a deeper meaning because her loving and anguished father recently died. The
passersbys were mesmerized by her hauntingly beautiful music.
This widely read story captured the imaginations of young ladies.
The frame, stretcher, glass, and highly decorative painted paper surround all appear to be original. The stretcher
retains some remnants of an early newspaper.
Condition: The needlework is in beautiful condition; note some deterioration of the paper surround and slight chipping
of gesso frame.
Silk and watercolor on silk, 23" x 25 ½" framed.
STEPHEN & CAROL HUBER
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