This dynamic portrait, with its striking blue background, relates to a small number of similar works that Ruth and Samuel Shute painted in the early 1830s while working in Middlesex County, Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. Related works from this small group include a portrait of Electa Snow Pierce until recently in the Ray and Susan Egan collection that sold Northeast Auctions, August 5, 2006, lot 799.
Ruth Whittier Shute (1803-1882) and Samuel Addison Shute (1803-1836) had a brief but prolific collaborative painting career that was cut short by Samuel's death in 1836. Ruth continued to travel and paint. She remarried Alpha Tarbell in Concord, New Hampshire and moved with him to Lexington, Kentucky where she was known as a pianist and a painter.