“At Work in a School Room”
American, circa 1880-1900
Oil and pencil on panel, 16 ½ x 25 inches
Untouched condition, unframed
An unusual technique employed in this work is the purposeful use of the surface and color of the natural wood, in which the artist painted around certain features to create a contrasting effect, a devise common among watercolorists using the white paper as a color component. This feature is most apparent in the backgrounds of the hanging pictures, the hair, and clothing which have now oxidized to a toasty brown color but would have been a starkly contrasting nearly white color when the work was new.