By the mid-nineteenth century, miniaturists began to employ conventions popularized by artists painting in oil on canvas, such as the use of the drape instead of a clearly defined dress and the placement of the figure amongst clouds. The result in this case is an almost unearthly image of a rather plain woman. The colors, which are brilliantly clear, enhance this effect.
Up until 1844, Brown painted in a variety of media, but after that date he devoted himself exclusively to miniature portraiture. At the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia he received a medal for his miniatures.
This text is adapted from Martha Severens "The Miniature Portrait Collection of the Carolina Art Association" published by the Carolina Art Association, 1984