Maria Winship Cowee with Music Book

Maria Winship Cowee with Music Book
The skill with which Peckham rendered these portraits (see N0300.61) supports the evidence that he had some academic training. With the exception of the subject's flesh tones, their brown hair, the woman's dark brown eyes and the tawny background, these two portraits are painted almost exclusively in black and white. The contrasting effect proves successful as the woman's carefully decorated white collar and the man's white shirt ruffle draw the viewer's eye to their faces and away from their somber black clothing. Peckham characteristically modeled the facial features to convey three-dimensional form and highlighted the pupils with a single dab of white paint placed slightly off center in the top right of each iris. An unusual feature of Mrs. Cowee's portrait is the artist's pronounced delineation of her skull, conveyed by shaded contour at her temples. Curiously, with this exception, he seems to have reserved this technique for his portraits of children. Peckham adeptly foreshortened Mrs. Cowee's left hand as she holds open a music book, and convincingly painted Mr. Cowee's hands so that he wraps his fingers dexterously around his flute.
Physical dimensions: 
height 32.5 in ; width 26.125 in