A pair of seated, half-length portraits of Stephen Smyth (d. 1866) and his wife Dorothy (Dolly) Smyth (nee Rowe) (d. 1852) who lived in Candia, New Hampshire. Their second son Frederick Smyth was a four time mayor of Manchester and two term governor of New Hampshire. Pastel on paper mounted on cardboard. With period frames.
A very similar pair of portraits of a lady
and a gentleman
attributed to J. Bailey Moore are in the collection of the Manchester Historic Society (Manchester, NH). Moore is considered part of the Prior-Hamblin School of folk art artists active in the mid 19th century who were influenced by the flat, primitive style of portrait painters William Prior and his brother-in-law Sturtevant Hamblin
. Born in Candia, New Hampshire Moore left home at the age of 15 and moved to Massachusetts. By 1846 he returned to New Hampshire and settled in Manchester where he worked as an itinerant artist, journalist, and phrenologist until his death
Jacob Bailey Moore (American, 1815-93)
Unsigned. Artists of the Prior-Hamblin school rarely signed their artwork.
J. Bailey Moore, History of the town of Candia, Rockingham County, N.H.: from its first settlement to the present time, 1893, p. 503., ill. p. 134. A very similar drawing of Stephen and Dorothy by J. Bailey Moore appears in his book along with their family history.
Purchased in New Hampshire at auction in the 1940s.
Width 28.5 Depth 2 Height 35 in.
Sight: Width 19 Height 26 in.