A naïve portrait of a young man holding a book, done in watercolor, ink, and pencil. Although unsigned, every characteristic of J.A. Davis' work is present, from the materials used to the composition, to the painting technique. Similar to lot 834 at the Sotheby's 1/25/15 auction and to lots 119 and 120 at the Skinner 11/2/18 sale. .
Excellent condition with no tears, folds, or restoration. There is some light even toning which is very common with her works and does not detract from this gem of American folk art. The sight size is 8" by 5 3/4", and the period gilded frame is 10 1/8" by 7 7/8".
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Jane Anthony Davis was born in Rhode Island in 1821, married Edward Nelson Davis of Connecticut in 1841 and died in Rhode Island in 1855. Until 1981, based on research by Arthur and Sybil Kern, it was thought that J.A. Davis was a man and a different person than Jane Anthony Davis. Prior to that time there was very little information that had been found about Davis.
Her work is quite uncommon, highly sought after by collectors of naïve American art, and is in the collections of many folk art museums.