Russell, Moses B - portrait of a lady
This miniature is unsigned, but it has been tentatively attributed to Moses B Russell (1810-1884), who worked in Boston for over fifty years, for several reasons.
Firstly, the case is marked "Made at Smiths, No 2 Milk St opposite Old South Boston". Fig 207 in the Manney Collection is in a case marked with the same frame-maker's label. This confirms the time and place of origin as being compatible with Moses B Russell.
Secondly, in writing of Russell's work between 1835 and 1845, Johnson refers to "The subjects of his portraits are solemn in demeanor and project forceful personalities. ... Backgrounds are often of pearl gray strikingly combined with subtle hues of pink". Those characteristics are true of this portrait.
Thirdly, the way the eyes and mouth are painted are similar to the way Russell painted these features in figs 206 and 207 in the Manney Collection. (Most of Russell's portraits are of men. In making comparisons with his portraits of women, it should be noted that figs 209 and 210 attributed to him in the Manney Collection are not by him, but instead are by his wife Clarissa Peters Russell (1809-1854).)
The sitter is unknown. 676
Posted by Don Shelton at 4:50 PM