Theorem stencil watercolour painting of a basket of fruit on paper
A delicately painted theorem of summer fruits in a basket with butterflies. Early 19th century.
Under glass and housed in its original gilded frame, with new mount.
Watercolour and pencil on paper. Unsigned
Frame: 22.25” x 16.5” 57cm x 42cm
Sight ex mount: 15.5” x 10” 40cm x 26cm
Theorem stencil, also called theorem painting or velvet painting, is the art of making stencils and using them to make drawings or paintings on fabric or paper.
vogue for theorem stencil painting began in England at the turn of the 18th century, and quickly travelled to colonial New England where the art was taught to young ladies in academies and
The designs were traditionally painted on velvet and the stencils were laid down in multiple overlays. The designs were always three-dimensional, primitive and stylised, with
no gaps in between the overlays. Fruit and floral arrangements are the most popular subjects, but scenes are occasionally found.