I am so in love with this folk painting! This caricature from the second quarter of the 19th century shows Mrs. Flimsy's Fashionable Warehouse in full selling mode! Mrs. Flimsy (dressed in red) is doing her best to find the perfect had for the thin lady admiring herself in the mirror. Seated next to the thin lady is her large and very un-thin mother (same nose, don't you see?), her child standing next to Mrs. Flimsy and the dog sitting in the chair. Swarms of other young ladies are seated in the back, admiring hats together and waiting for their turn with Mrs. Flimsy. Unnoticed by any of the women is a bespectacled gentleman, leaning through the open window and watching the goings-on with an interested, if not lecherous look! Mrs. Flimsy's sign announces
THE GREATEST VARIETY oF
STRAW HATS & BONNETS made
up in the most Elegant Taste
A Large Stock of Spanish Flemish
Provincial Gipsey Cottage Woodland 85c85c
And Adapted to show every Feature to the best advantage.
The painting is full of life and humor. The colors are bright were they should be (i.e. Mrs. Flimsy, the red window frame and the buxom lady's dress) and muted where they should be. This draws your attention to the most delightful and important aspects and leaves you to quietly find the rest of the treasures in your own good time.
This painting is down in the manner of Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827), one of the most English popular satirists of the late 18th century. He "applied his masterful drawing skills and keen sense of humor to colorful, detailed, and sometimes bawdy depictions of everyday life in and around London during the late 18th and early 19th centuries." Quote from, Thomas Rowlandson: Pleasures and Pursuits in Georgian England, Mary & Lee Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Chicago (http://www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu/exhibitions/current/rowlandson.html). However, it is important to note that this work in not by Thomas Rowlandson. Unfortunately, someone has spuriously signed the lower right corner with his name and the date 1790 (see last image). If this were an original work by Rowlandson, it would be offered at a much higher price than I am offering. Despite the spurious signature, this is a delightful piece of 19th century folk art! Framed in a period bird's eye maple frame that measures 13" x 15 3/4". The paper has slight age-spotting and a vertical brown stain on the left side from an earlier frame. But these are extremely minor apologies and the piece shows beautifully!