Loan Object
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist, attributed to: Samuel Folwell, American, 1765–1813


ca. 1805

Watercolor on ivory

12 1/16 × 1 9/16 in. (30.6 × 4 cm)
Promised bequest of Davida Tenenbaum Deutsch and Alvin Deutsch, LL.B. 1958, in honor of Kathleen Luhrs

In this allegorical mourning miniature, a weeping female mourner dressed in black sits beside a funerary monument inscribed with the words “Rest in Peace.” The branches of a weeping willow—a conventional symbol of mourning—curve overhead, lending decorative interest to the scene. Samuel Folwell used mostly sepia tones in this small painting, as was common practice for allegorical miniatures, but added blue blossoms behind the tomb, perhaps at the request of the customer.

Folwell was a painter, engraver, hairworker, needlework designer, silhouettist, and drawing master. At various points in his career, Folwell worked in Baltimore; New York; Charleston, South Carolina; and throughout New England. In his hometown of Philadelphia, Folwell and his wife, Ann Elizabeth, ran a school for girls, with a curriculum centered on drawing and needlework. In creating examples for students, Folwell made mostly memorial designs. Several feature overlapping trees, a curly haired female mourner, and the phrase “Sacred to the Memory of the Illustrious Washington.” Folwell painted a silhouette of George Washington from life in 1791, from which an engraving was made.

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Not on view
19th century
Miniatures - Jewelry

R.C. Bowen (Kennebunk, ME); Davida Tenenbaum Deutsch and Alvin Deutsch

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.