Great Britain: Original Watercolor, [c.1880-1900]. Matted in Rag Board. Fine original watercolor on gilt-edged watercolor card, with new year greeting stamped in gilt on verso. (12 x 15.8 cm). Matted in Rag. Condition: Fine, with minor aged paper remains to verso corners from previous mount. Penciled on verso: (JI.A) Meadow Lark (Sturnella Neglecta) Brown Back Yellow breast.
All the more alluring by want of attribution, this vivid watercolor of a Western Meadowlark was painted not by a professional artist, field naturalist or explorer but by an amateur, or armchair, traveler/naturalist /painter; quite plausibly a young Victorian gentlewoman who would have learned the art of nature painting, as was the custom, and whose inspiration would have come from her estate's fine collection of grand natural history color plate volumes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The work is clearly stylized by a primitive eye, yet executed with an accomplished and refined hand; the technique is learned. The resulting composition is one of dramatic charm. Fine. Item #5687