With the official start of winter just around the corner, I wanted to share this unique painting with you today.
It's oil paint on a wooden panel. The title is Snowballing, Scene at Ecouen France. It depicts five children and a woman on a city street. The children appear to have been having a snowball fight, much to the woman's displeasure. what I find most amusing about this image is the fact the woman is unaware she is about to get hit by a snowball. Let's hope for her sake there are no icy bits in it!
Anyway, you might be wondering why this French scene is at HSMC. According to the donor records, it was painted by a Norristown resident, J. Lizzie Cloud Waters. The records claim Lizzie's mother was the widow of Dr. Joseph Cloud. Her mother lived in the same building as Daniel Longaker's grocery store in Norristown and Lizzie was the ward of Daniel Mulvaney.
Lizzie eventually married a Dr. Waters, but apparently it was not a happy marriage. Lizzie left to live abroad. Where Lizzie went is not specified, but given the painting is identified as Ecouen France (roughly 12.5 miles north of Paris), it's fair to say she spent at least some time in that region.
What's puzzling about this story is I have yet to come across a paper trail for Lizzie. The donor of this painting provided a good amount of information, but I have not yet found any records for her, her husband, or her mother. I don't even know her husband's first name.