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And She Had Compassion on Him.
Embroiderer:Embroidered and Painted by Ruth Green , American, 1790 - 1851
School:Attributed to Patten school , American, 1785 - 1825
Embroidery; paint, chenille yarn, paper and gold foil on a plain-woven silk ground; gold paint, wood
Primary Dimensions (height x width): 22 3/4 x 25 1/2in. (57.8 x 64.8cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Caroline T. Jones
Gallery Copy: Ruth Green Barber’s picture depicts the moment Moses is discovered in the bulrushes by the Pharoah’s daughter who takes compassion on him. Moses’ sister, (watching from behind the tree), is sent to find a Hebrew woman (his mother, who is pointed to by the curving pine trees), to care for Moses. The Old Testament characters appear in fashionable contemporary dress and the scene includes a modern white fence. While most early nineteenth-century silk embroideries incorporate some paint (for faces, hands, background landscape, and sky), this one has more painting than embroidery. Only the oak tree at right is stitched, its fuzzy yarns and French knots providing texture. The painted details of hair, fabric, and atmospheric haze in the background show artistic skill.
Description: Needlework picture consisting primarily of paint on a plain-woven silk ground with some chenille thread embroidery; the picture is labeled "R. GREEN." and titled "AND SHE HAD COMPASSION ON HIM EXOD. CH. 2. V. 6". The picture shows a woman in an Empire, or late neoclassical, style yellow and white dress wearing a gold foil crown; she is holding her arms out to a child in a white dress that is being lifted out of a cylindrical basket. The child and basket are located beneath an embroidered tree at the right. The woman with a crown is accompanied by two women in blue dresses; one lifts the baby and another holds a parasol over her head. The train of the woman with a crown is supported by an African child. An additional woman is hiding behind a willow tree that is in the background, to the left of center; immediately to the left of the willow tree are two short, tilted, connifers. The left foreground has large brown and green leaves. The picture is behind glass (.c) that is painted black at the edges; the title is painted in gold at the bottom center. The original gilded wooden frame (.b) consists of one deeply curved molding with a rope twisted band applied inside; gesso leaves project from the frame at the corners and at the sides. Stitches: The primary stitch on the chenille embroidered tree is satin stitch; it also encludes buillion and french knots. Condition: The backing of the picture is replaced. The gesso leaves and gold paint on the frame have moderate flaking.
Subject Note: The needlework picture depicts the story of Pharaoh's daughter discovering a child in a basket on a river. Exodus 2: 1-10 (King James Version): "And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the women took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water." (Hunt 3/12/2007)
Object Number: 1921.5.0a-c
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