The Neapolitan Girl
The Neapolitan Girl c1876 by French Painter Hugues Merle (1823 – 1881); who specialized in scenes of maternal affection, childhood innocence and moral consequence.
By an alcove on the side of a building stands an alluring brunette maiden of the late 19th century basking in the suns warm glow.
She is wearing a tan ruffled kerchief on the top of her head that nicely contrast the reddish-brown color of the alcove wall.
Along with the kerchief she is wearing a white long baggy sleeve blouse with partial red material from her forearm, up to her upper arm.
The blouse is complimented with the strap on dress she is wearing that is comprised of a black vest with red trim and a red long length bottom that matches the sleeves.
Then she has on the front a lime green apron with floral patterns on the top and a floral pattern on the bottom with a blue chicken; she is also wearing a large red beaded necklace with a gold star emblem hanging from the end.
This portrait of a young lady has her leaning on the stone ledge of the alcove that sits on a large brick wall of tan and light brown cut bricks.
This is a remastered digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image that is available as a canvas print online.
Hugues Merle was born in 1822 in La Sône, France and around the age of 21 arrived in Paris, France where he studied painting under the French Historical and Portrait Painter Léon Cogniet (1794 – 1880).
Though little is known of Hugues early life it is assumed that he received some degree of art education before he arrived in Paris in 1843; because he began exhibiting at the Paris Salon in 1847 with his piece Portrait de L’auteur and in 1848 he exhibited the piece Légende des Willis.
As time went on Hugues reputation as a portraitist grew substantially during the 1850s; and as a successful and prominent painter he was able to attract serious art lovers that were looking to build their art collections.
One of these early collectors of art was th 4th Marquess of Hertford, Richard Seymour-Conway (1800-1870); who purchased his salon submission Reading the Bible in 1859.
During the 1860s, Huges client list of collectors included not only individuals from the European continent, but also American collectors, such as William Walters of Baltimore who commissioned The Scarlet Letter.