Portrait of Anna H. Crampton Bulla – Attributed to Rufus Porter (American, 1792-1884)

Portrait of Anna H. Crampton Bulla - Attributed to Rufus Porter (American, 1792-1884)

Portrait of Anna H. Crampton Bulla. Unsigned. The sitter is identified in an inscription on the reverse reading "Anna H. Crampton Bulla painted at the age of seventeen-1845 in Richmond, In [signed] A. H. C. Bulla November 15, 1904."

A genealogical search reveals that Anna H. Crampton was born in March, 1828, married John Hoover Bulla, a farmer and had eleven children. (https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/KC5B-GD8)

Watercolor on paper, 1845, depicting seated profile portrait of the young Anna Bulla wearing a black dress trimmed with deep lace and blue ribbon at collar and with flat white embroidered sleeve cuffs. She rests her hands, gloved in netted fingerless mitts, in her lap, with her right hand appearing to hold a white lace handkerchief. Her dark hair is center parted and pulled back into a period chignon with a curl visible behind her right ear.

The portrait bears several key hallmarks of Rufus Porter's technique, including:

  • Ear: Gray interior of ear that forms a ‘C’; heart shape form of the lower interior back of the ear. 
  • Eyes: Eyelashes are straight out from lid and mid tone in color; eyeball on profile is football shaped and the pupil is a straight slash down not a dot.
  • Lips:Brown red line delineating lip separation. 

Sight sizes 7” x 9”, in period frame. Condition: Visible edge (from earlier framing?) some foxing, minor toning. 

Please click on photos to enlarge and appreciate details.