An enchanting head and shoulders portrait of a young girl wearing a white shift, her short dark curls crowned with a red-ribboned wreath of Morning Glory flowers, with her cheek resting on her hands clasped atop a column, against a ground of blue sky and two fluttering peacock butterflies.
This unsigned work is undoubtedly by an important early 19th century artist and after considerable research the artist has to be one of a few late Regency/early Victorian genre artists. William Etty and Charles Baxter are both strong contenders, although the latter specialised more in this subject matter and with several known works painted in circular manner.
Charles Baxter was an English portrait and subject painter, known especially for his portraits of charming pretty girls. He lived and worked in London and exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1834 and 1872; he also exhibited at Suffolk Street.
Many of Baxter’s paintings included poetic and rustic subjects. He started his career as a bookbinder and miniature painter and was elected a member of the Society of British Artists in 1842.His studio sale was held at Christie’s on 15 March 1879.
Museums: Victoria and Albert Museum, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, and many UK A.G.’s
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