Artist: Vallée, Jean François de la Date: ca. 1803/06
The rather unusual grouping of mother and son has aroused much speculation, due in part to the faded condition of the miniature, which makes the sitters look somewhat anemic, and to the honest depiction of the figures. One explanation suggests that the portrait is posthumous, but this is not borne out by the dates of the sitters. Vallee has artfully balanced the composition through the inclusion of the back of a Windsor chair, allowing him to place Mrs. Fell along the central axis of the miniature.
This text is adapted from Martha Severens "The Miniature Portrait Collection of the Carolina Art Association" published by the Carolina Art Association, 1984