Joseph and Sarah Ann Emery

Joseph and Sarah Ann Emery
In this portrait of Joseph and Sarah Ann Emery, traces of pencil appear along the edges of the right side of the table, vertically through the center of the vase, and within the area of the inscription at the bottom of the composition. These outline markings indicate that Davis initially sketched his likenesses in pencil and afterwards filled in the areas of the images with watercolor. The artist seemingly devised his compositions this way to determine order and balance. However, this architectural, geometric approach resulted in severe regularity to Davis's work. Further evidence of the artist's preliminary work is found in the portrait of Trueworthy Chamberlain and Wife. A rough outline sketch of Mrs. Chamberlain was drawn by Davis on the verso of the piece and apparently discarded as unsuccessful. The elaborately ornamented ink inscriptions appearing along the bottom borders of many of Davis's portraits record information about the subjects such as their names, birthdates and ages at the time the portraits were completed. Joseph Emery was born on July 4, 1808, the son of James and Hannah Dunn Emery of Limerick, Maine. On June 12, 1836, he married Sarah Ann Libbey, who was born on September 19, 1815 to Ira and Fanny Libbey of North Berwick, Maine. The couple resided in Limington, Maine where they raised five children. Joseph died on March 11, 1866 and Sarah Ann followed on September 5, 1873. From Paul S. D'Ambrosio and Charlotte M. Emans, "Folk Art's Many Faces: Portraits in the New York State Historical Association," Cooperstown: NYSHA, 1987, pp. 59-61.
Physical dimensions: 
depth 1 in ; height 17.25 in ; width 17.25 in