A striking oil on canvas portrait of an attractive young woman painted by William Matthew Prior. The woman is sitting in front of a window draped with red fabric, trees seen through it in the background. She is holding a book and sits on a chair which has a red shawl over the back. Use of the highly lit face and hands against a dark background exemplify characteristics of Prior's and Prior-Hamblin works.
The painting is 25 1/2" by 21 1/2" sight size, while what appears to be the original painted frame and contrasting painted liner frame extends the size to 33" by 29 1/2". The painting has some minor, well-done inpainting, but is in very good condition, and although relined, does not have any repairs.
Although this work is unsigned, Richard Miller, a pre-eminent scholar in American folk art, and formerly curator of decorative arts at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, stated that it was defintely painted by Wliiam Matthew Prior.