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American Treasures at the Fenimore Art Museum

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Record 41/116
Copyright New York State Historical Association and/or The Farmers' Museum, Inc.
Object ID N0121.1961
Title Palemon and Lavinia
Artist Burpee, Sophia
Object Name Painting
Early Date 1806 ca.
Exhibit label line3 Little is known about Sophia Burpee, except that she was married in 1813 and died the following year, possibly of typhoid fever, at the age of 26. She is the subject of an oil portrait in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the artist of several watercolors and this silk embroidery probably completed at school. This scene is taken from a print illustrating James Thomson's poem Autumn, published in London in 1730, and shows the moment described in the poem when Palemon recognizes that Lavinia, a gleaner in his field, is the long-sought daughter of his friend, Acasto. Young ladies such as Burpee, who learned their needlework skills in finishing schools, often had access to libraries of illustrated French and English literary works.
Description Palemon and Lavinia Marks: At center: "Sophia Burpee"
Dimensions H-16 W-13 inches
Material Silk embroidery and watercolor on satin
Makers mark At center: "Sophia Burpee"
Place of Origin Sterling, Worcester County, MA

Prior written permission is required for any reproduction, redistribution, publication, or other use of the images in any media, including but not limited to, printed or electronic media. Contact the Office of the Registrar, New York State Historical Association, PO Box 800, Cooperstown, NY 13326, (607) 547-1444, to request permission.    
Last modified on: November 04, 2005