Portrait of Ellen Delight Seated on a Classical Scrolled Arm Mahogany Sofa
Horace Bundy (1814-1883)
American, New Hampshire, 1848.
Signed and dated (on the reverse in the artist’s hand):
H Bundy Painter/Lebanon NH/Nov. 1848
Oil on canvas
37 1/2″ x 32 1/2″ framed
Condition: Excellent, in a remarkable state of preservation. original frame. (see full condition report).
Ellen Delight, daughter of Elizabeth and Horace Hatch of Lebanon, New Hampshire, perched on her family’s mahogany sofa is an enchanting example by the itinerant North Country painter, Horace Bundy. For a period of twenty years, between 1837 and 1859, Bundy painted portraits of sitters in Vermont, New Hampshire, Upstate New York and northern Massachusetts. His best paintings, such as this one, combine a spare, graphic aesthetic with a charming naiveté so characteristic of American Folk Art paintings.
The composition of this painting is sophisticated and daring for an itinerant artist of this period. She is shown partially reclined, leaning her head on the large scroll of the sofa, with one of her feet tucked beneath her and the other extended. Bundy does a fine job with all the fingers and toes, the delicate shadowing, the delicate facial features and the beautiful auburn ringlets on her head. The contemporary Greek-Revival fashion is evident in her dress and the sofa, while the coral necklace and the blue throw are markers of family taste and affluence. Young Girl Seated on a Classical Scrolled Arm Mahogany Sofa ranks among Bundy’s finest commissions including the 1849 double-portrait of Abbie and Adah Clay in the collection of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute of Utica, New York and Girl with Dog from 1852 at the Smith College Museum of Art.
For more information about Horace Bundy please read Lauren B. Hewes’s excellent article Horace Bundy: Itinerant Portraitist in the October 1994 issue of The Magazine Antiques.
Item ID: WoA-AMP-OC 418