Attributed to Maria Louisa Wagner (New York, 1815-1888) and/or Daniel Wagner (New York, 1802-1888), two miniature portraits of unknown subjects, one signed en verso in pencil "by M. Louise(a) Wagner Albany 1847" and depicting a young woman with long dark ringlets, white gown and choker necklace; the other, larger and unsigned portrait of a young man with dark hair and wearing a black coat and tie, his right hand tucked into his jacket. Both paintings framed under glass in gilt metal cartouche shaped frames. Young woman: Sight – 3" H x 2 1/2" W. Framed – 5" H x 4 1/4" W. Young man: Sight – 4" H x 3 1/3" W. Framed – 6 1/2" H x 5 1/2" W. Note: Siblings Daniel and Maria Louisa Wagner were two of thirteen children born to Frederick and Anna or Hannah Walwort Wagner. They lived and worked in New York City and other towns in New York state in the mid 19th century. The book "Women's Culture: American Philanthropy and Art" states that Maria Wagner took up portrait painting "to help care for her crippled brother," although a newspaper article written in 1888, the year both died, suggests it was Daniel who began painting, following a hip injury that left him permanently disabled, and who then taught his sister to paint. Daniel and Maria seem to have painted both as a team and separately. Before setting up a successful studio in the Dodworth Building in New York, they traveled the state seeking work, eventually earning commissions to paint members of the New York legislature in Albany, Martin Van Buren, Silas Wright, Daniel Webster, and Millard Fillmore and his family. The siblings died within a few months of each other. (For more information, see an excellent history on the Wagners at http://aminports3.blogspot.com/2008/04/wagner-daniel-and-maria-louisa-portrait.html). Provenance: the collection of Frank Ingraham, Tap Root Farm, Franklin, Tennessee, by descent in his family. CONDITION: Portrait of young woman in excellent condition. Portrait of young man has a 1 7/8" crack running the full vertical length of one side to background, near frame edge; subject's image unaffected. Both frames with oxidation to back and losses to metal "teeth" holding portraits in frames.
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