|Self portrait of the artist|
|Note the slipcovers and pillows on the sofa|
Ms. Best slavishly copies the details of the wallpaper, carpets, artwork, drapery and even china in the houses of her friends and relatives or of the hotels that she stayed at when traveling. Some of my favorite paintings showed the kitchens, from homey English ones to the squeaky clean kitchens of the Netherlands. No detail escapes her notice - right down to the table settings and crumb cloths.
The author, Caroline Davidson, follows Ms. Best chronologically through her life and many travels. She enriches the illustrations with commentary about the artist's life as well as the details that are to be found in the watercolors.
Women's Worlds, The Art and Life of Mary Ellen Best 1809-1891, Caroline Davidson, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York c. 1985