Nicola Marschall: Artist of the Deep South

Critical Thinking Questions

The portrait of the little Schmidt girl, the one of Julia Evans Graham and of Hettie Schmidt all have symbols of life "cut short." With sudden death from epidemics or in birth a common occurrence for nineteenth century infants and small children, the rosebud was painted to refer to youth and/or "life cut in the bud." Clouds painted below the bust in a young person's portrait were symbolic of death. Death was immediate and familiar to people living in the nineteenth century; thus, commemoration of the dead was common.*