MARY E. DEAR (1848-1867)
Patchwork (England, 1857)
Oil on board
Signed and dated 1857 lower left
Mrs & Mrs Ronald Chapman (grandson of George Frederic Watts OM RA)
By descent in the family; to 2004
Description / Expertise
In Patchwork, two sisters sit in the shade of a tree in a summer sunlit meadow. The eldest sister has fallen asleep; her needle and threat in her hand and pieces of patchwork in her white apron. Meanwhile, her younger sister, endeavouring to help, cuts up her best Sunday dress into little patchwork squares. Mary E. Dear has used clear glazes of pure colour with careful attention to detail and has obviously been influenced, as were so many young artists of her generation, by the Pre-Raphaelites.
Perhaps this is the companion piece to the painting that Mary Dear exhibited that same year at the Royal Academy entitled Sisters, a Winter theme, accompanied with a line from a Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam.
Mary Dear exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists from 1859 onwards. The address she gave was c/o the distinguished painting dealer: Colnaghi, Pall Mall. Her works are extremely rare although she exhibited at the Royal Academy on several occasions.