Attributed to Susanna Paine (ac. New England, 1792-1862)
Pair of Portraits of a Young Husband and His Wife. Unsigned, c. 1840. Oil on wood panel, the woman portrayed writing a verse reading "To understand a proverb and the interpretations, the words of the wise, and therin dark sayings, "My son honor the instructions of thy father and forsake not the love of thy mother," 30 1/4 x 25 1/4 in., in original molded giltwood frames. Condition: The gentleman has some scattered retouch to his jacket; the woman with retouch to vertical repaired shrinkage crack and on lower edge.
Provenance: An old Kennebunkport, Maine, family.
Literature: For comparable examples of the artist's work see Folk Art magazine, "Roses and Thorns: The Life of Susanna Paine," by Michael R. and Suzanne R. Payne, Winter 2005/2006, pp. 62-71. The article discusses the difficult life of the itinerant portrait artist Susanna Paine, as was revealed in her autobiography Roses and Thorns, or Recollection of an Artist: A Tale of Truth, for the Grave and Gay, written in 1854 at the age of 61.
The portraits have been cleaned and varnished and stabilized on the back to prevent bowing with three wooden boards. The retouched repaired shrinkage crack on the woman runs down about 18 in. and is about 1 1/2 in. wide and goes through her bonnet and hair.