Thistlethwaite Americana | Portrait of a Young Girl
We pride ourselves on presenting distinctive fine and decorative arts from the 18th through the 20th century highlighting great American design.
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Portrait of a Young Girl

Attributed to Joseph Whiting Stock (1815-1855)


Oil on Canvas

Circa 1845

38” H x 34” W (framed)

This oil on canvas painting depicts a young girl, possibly Mary Elizabeth Holt, sitting in a chair holding her doll dressed just like her. The girl is holding onto her doll tight as she poses for the picture. She sits in a rocking chair on top of an ornate rug. In the background, there is a painting on the left-hand side and red drapes on the right-hand side. The overall painting is rather dark and the artist, Joseph Whiting Stock, uses chiaroscuro to emphasize the little girl in the foreground.

Joseph Whiting Stock, when he was eleven, fell from an oxcart, leaving him as a paraplegic. This doctor impressed upon him that he should pain. Dr. Swan constructed a wheelchair for Stock to paint large canvasses after he did a series of anatomical drawings in 1834 for him. The wheelchair was able to be put on trains so that Stoc k could travel for commissions. Swan traveled across New England painting portraits. He did maintain a studio in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was born and grew up.

Provenance: Hirschl & Adler Folk, New York

WHY WE LOVE IT: The darling young girl with her rosy cheeks and doll would make a fine addition to any space.