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Watercolor portraits

June 15, 2012

Watercolor Folk Portraits.
“A great watercolor portrait has a certain look. It’s naive, but well drawn. It’s crisp and colorful. Sometimes it’s a little unbalanced,” says Stephen Corrigan, a Vermont dealer who has a knack for turning up engaging examples of this favorite American folk art. Collectors of portraits are captivated by the whimsical appeal, delicate rendering, and telling detail of early-19th-century likenesses on paper and ivory, many of them crafted in miniature. Most prized are documented portraits by artists such as Rufus Porter, who is known for his sensitive bust-length profile portraits, and Joseph H. Davis, whose interior views show a lively attention to fabrics and furniture of the period. Although the best signed and dated examples command tens of thousands of dollars, anony mous works of great charm may be had for under $1,000.

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