A superb portrait miniature, painted by Nathaniel Rogers in watercolor on natural material. A note inside the case identifies the sitter as Charles B. Meek. Research has found that he lived in Canandaigua, Ontario, NY. Mr. Meek, a very handsome young gentleman, is posed sitting on a red chair, wearing a black jacket, with white waistcoat, shirt, and stock. The fine skill of Rogers is evident in the detailed luminosity of the face, the shadowing in the clothing, and the overall visual impact of this work.
The miniature is in excellent condition, with no chips, cracks, paint loss or fading, and no restoration. The red leather case with red velvet interior is probably original and shows normal expected wear. Sight size of the painting is 4 1/8" by 3", with an overall closed case size of 5 1/4" by 4 3/4".
This miniature descended in the Meek family until we purchased this 27 years ago for our own collection.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Nathaniel Rogers (1788 - 1844) was born in Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York. After moving to New York City in 1811, he apprenticed with Joseph Wood, and by 1812 his career was thriving. In spite of being stricken with tuberculosis in 1825, he maintained his studio in NYC, though living in Long Island, until finally retiring there in 1839. In 1826 he, along with Thomas Seir Cummings, Rembrandt Peale, Samuel Morse, and others, became founders of the National Academy.
Rogers achieved the status of being one of the leading miniaturists of his era, and his works are in most of the major American art museums.