View of Boston Common (about 1750) – Hannah Otis (1732–1801)
Rectangular canvas-work picture depicting a Georgian-style house with horse paddock; a church steeple and beacon in foreground; a figure on horseback and black servant in foreground; a male and female figure at left looking over a wall at a body of water; military-style building in background; trees, flowers, birds and animals throughout; original pine frame with gilt border and original glass.
Affluent girls were educated in the feminine arts of embroidery, painting on glass, and quillwork, as well as in reading and writing. After completing a sampler in their embroidery classes, girls worked pictures that proudly were hung in the family home. While the majority of the pastoral scenes depicted on Boston schoolgirl embroideries are based on European print sources, Otis’s chimneypiece is a realistic depiction of Boston Common, with the beacon on Beacon Hill and the stone mansion, built in 1737 by merchant Thomas Hancock, clearly delineated.