Girl with Kitten (Ruth Raymond, from the book Love’s Progress)

Artist Details

Name: Charles Fraser
Birth: 1782 Death: 1860
Nationality: American

Artwork Details

Date of Work: 1841
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 23 3/8 x 20 1/2 inches
Credit: Gift of Milward Blamyre Deas Pinckney in memory of her mother, Allen Sinkler Deas (Mrs. Alston Deas), the great, great granddaughter of Caroline Gilman

Girl with Kitten depicts Ruth Raymond with her kitten, Perdita, both characters in the 1840 novel entitled Love’s Progress by Caroline Howard Gilman. Charles Fraser who is best known for his miniature portraits was a close friend of Caroline and her husband Samuel Gilman. He painted this work as a gift to the author.

The scene painted is based on a  description of Ruth in the novel which reads, “There was an apple-tree by the garden wall, on a limb of which was Ruth’s favorite seat. It was so low that a stone was her foot-stool, while her back rested against the body of the tree, a branch, of which screened her from the lane. I wish I could paint this bright expanding girl at that very hour, her white hand glittering through the foliage as her arm entwined the tree, one foot swinging easily, while the other rested on the stone. But I am partial to Ruth and may overcharge the picture. The scene around her was worthy of her; mountain and river, blossoms and the skies and Perdita too helped out the picture, as she frisked on the graveled paths below.”

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