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This watercolor depicts a woman in a red dress holding a parasol in her left hand and a four- leafed spray. She stands within a black carpenter's square (bottom) and a compass (top). At either side of her are flowering vines terminating in red and yellow tulips. The verses are inscribed on the outsides of the compass and square admonish young girls to correct moral principles in rhyming couplets (see Inscriptions). The frame is ebonized with gilded inner molding and a cove profile.
paper (fiber product)
figure- and animal-derived motifs
women (female humans)
Affixed to the back of the picture on the upper left is a photograph with a caption. The caption is in pencil written in the upper right picture backing reads: Watercolor owned by Winterthur by/same artist from Gronic-N.H.? See ""Keep Within Compass"" was a popular pictorial theme in late 18 cent. English decorative arts. Verses in image, in ink, were meant to be read across the bottom and then the top in rhyming couplets:Keep within compass/ And you will be sure,/To avoid many evils /which others endure/ If others do evil/ Pray let them alone/There's nothing can hurt you/ But sins of your own/ Behold with boldness here I stand,/ And hold the laurel in my hand/ My cause is right, though some may judge,/ And many at my honor grudge/ Go not abroad to tattle much/ Nor in your dwellings welcome such/ If I am wrong let me alone/ And mind the business of your own."
Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.),
11 3/4 x 13 1/2 x 1 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little
New Hampshire (United States)