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Elle Shushan

Clarissa Peters Russell, Mrs. Moses B. Russell

Portrait miniature of Harley Eugene Jenness

Portrait miniature of Harley Eugene Jenness, by Mrs. Moses B. Russell, Dorchester, MA, 1852.

sight: 6 inches high


Harley Eugene Jenness was the son of John Jenness and Lucy Ann Cook of Sheffield, Vermont. Harley was born in January of 1851. While visiting Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1852, Harley’s portrait was painted by Mrs. Russell. The baby passed away in Dorchester on April 9th of that year. He was buried in Westlook Cemetery, Glover, Vermont, along with generations of the Jenness family.

Sight: 6 inches high. Set in the original gilt wood frame with the baby's obituary on the reverse.

Mrs. Moses B. Russell (1809-1854), an artist of captivating talent, was described by Dale Johnson as “a highly productive and accomplished miniaturist who has been unduly neglected because of misattribution.  Her paintings...are quite distinctive: charming, somewhat naive likeness of their subjects.”  Born Clarissa Peters in Andover, Massachusetts, she worked as a miniature painter in Boston from 1836 to 1854, exhibiting at the Boston Atheneum, the Boston Art Association and the Boston Mechanics Association.  In 1839 she married miniaturist Moses B. Russell.  From then on they worked jointly, and their works are often mistaken for one another.  Additionally, it is probable that he signed many works painted mostly by her.  Her fame also suffered from years of misattribution to Joseph Whiting Stock, a problem only recently solved. But, in her lifetime, she was so highly regarded that upon her death in 1854, the Boston Semi-Weekly Atlas and several other Boston newspapers printed front-page obituaries for her. Mrs. Russell’s delightful miniatures are now among the most sought after in America.