Description This painting was unknown until offered as a gift to the museum and did not appear in the Miller catalogue raisonné compiled by the Walters and the Amon Carter Museum in 1981. In the foreground, the woman is "cording a bale of dried meat," while in the background, Captain William Drummond Stewart, identified by his broad rimmed hat, addresses a male figure. It was Miller's practice to repeat his subjects for many clients. This work, however, is almost unique. There is a pen- and ink- sketch in a private collection that came assembled for Stewart. Otherwise, the only other variant is Walters 37.1940.153. What is atypical about this painting is that it is very thinly painted on artist's board rather than canvas. Pentimenti in the sky have become visible, allowing the viewer to determine how the artist developed the composition. Miller has apparently considered inserting a tree as he had in the other Walters watercolor, and then rejected the idea. Since this painting has not been identified with any listing in the artist's account book, it could be an early work dating from before 1842.
Provenance Louise Lunger Meyers, early 20th century, by inheritance; Bernadette McMenamin and Michele Whelan, by inheritance (executors of Meyers estate); Walters Art Museum, 2006, by gift.
Credit Gift of Bernadette McMenamin and Michele Whelan in memory of Louise L. Meyers, 2006
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