This pretty young woman, with a thoughtful expression on her face, sits serenely in a chair, holding a red book in her left hand. She is in a blue dress with white lace trim at the throat and cuffs. The large eyes, the reddish tint to the cheeks and ear, and the shadowing to the face lend a very haunting air to this work, which is very finely executed.
Based on penciled writing on the back, some of which is not quite legible, the sitter is Mrs. James Henry Durgin, of West ***berry (possibly Newbury), Mass, and the painting was done in what seems to say 1825, which is consistent with the chair and style of dress. There is additional information about the artist, though he does not appear to be named, or at least I couldn't make it out. It is always a real plus to have any information about paintings of this type, as the vast majority of them have passed down with little known about the sitter or artist.
The painting has a sight size of 29 1/2" by 24 1/2", and in its molded gilt gesso frame (which has some small scattered losses) measures 36 3/4" by 31". The painting is in overall excellent condition, with no holes or tears, and no inpainting to the key areas, but does have some very small and minor touchups in the dress and background.
A charming piece to add to a folk art collection, or as a beautiful enhancement to your decor