Attributed to Samuel Shaver (Tennessee, 1816-1878), pair of oval East Tennessee companion paintings depicting a husband and wife. Oil on canvas laid on paperboard. Male subject is seated and wearing a black suit with gold spectacles and a long beard, the female is seated in a red chair wearing a black dress with a lace collar and red floral brooch and upswept hair. Partially legible pencil writing en verso of cardboard of female portrait reads " Ms. Joseph Ward/Word, Gr. Grandmother of Elizabeth —- Fible?, June —– —–". Both housed in matching pierced gilt frames. Sight – 23 1/4" H x 19 1/4" W. Framed – 27 1/2" H x 23 3/8" W. Mid-19th century. Provenance: Found in Knoxville, TN estate. Biography (by James C. Kelly, Virginia Historical Society): "Portraitist Samuel M. Shaver was born in Sullivan County, the son of David Shaver and Catherine (Barringer) Shaver. He may have been influenced by William Harrison Scarborough (1812-1871), a native-born Tennessee artist, four years Shaver's senior, who did portraits of Shaver's relatives. Shaver's earliest known painting dates to 1845, but he was probably painting before that time. For the next quarter-century, he was East Tennessee's standard portraitist. In 1851 Shaver was professor of drawing and painting at the Odd Fellows Female Institute in Rogersville. In 1852 he advertised in Greeneville and Knoxville papers; for several years thereafter his whereabouts are unknown. The death of his first wife in January 1856 recalled him to Rogersville, where he remained until the Civil War. At the outset of the war, pro-Confederate Shaver moved to Knoxville, where he became one of the founders of the East Tennessee Art Association. The association commissioned him to do portraits of fifteen Confederate leaders and generals, presumably from photographs. None of the portraits have been located, and perhaps they were never painted. From 1863 to 1868 Shaver lived and worked near Russellville. About 1868 he joined his mother-in-law and family in Jerseyville, Illinois, near St. Louis, where he continued painting. He died June 21, 1878." CONDITION: Canvas adhered to paperboard. Blistering, craquelure and scratching with losses (largest 2 1/4" to female portrait, on face) to both canvases. Male portrait – 6" L horizontal line of cleavage, located 1" from top edge of frame, due to paperboard being in 2 pcs en verso. 2 areas of inpainting visible under UV light; in lower left quadrant, largest 3" x 2/34", with smaller area being possible previous repair. Female portrait – area of inpainting visible under UV light; in lower right along frame edge, 3 x 3 1/2". Housed in newer frames.
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