Thomas Sully, born on this day in 1783, created this unusual portrait "The Student" in 1848.
It actually is a portrait of his deceased daughter, Rosalie Kemble Sully who died a year earlier. Sully chose to commemorate his daughter's talent as an emerging artist by depicting her with portfolio and pencil between her slender fingers. The upper half of her the portrait, Sully obscures nearly half his daughter's face in shadow. While it's possible to see Rosalie's beautiful eyes behind the veil of darkness, the unusual composition might reference her untimely death the previous year.
The portrait now hangs in +The Mint Museum
, North Carolina's first art museum.