Miller painted at least five versions of this composition, four of which are recorded in his account book. The first, listed in 1853, became the basis for a chromolithographic illustration in Charles Wilkins Webber’s The Hunter Naturalist: Wild Scenes and Song-Birds (1854), the second was part of the commission for William T. Walters (CR# 470A), and a third version (unlocated, but likely a watercolor based on its price of $65) for Baltimore surveyor Colonel George D. Wise in 1865 (CR# 470C). Miller also painted a working sketch that was not listed in his account book, perhaps before the 1853 watercolor (CR# 470).
Miller here seems more comfortable with his subject matter than in the early sketch (CR# 470), which is a bit more modest by comparison. In the earlier version, the seated woman holds herself rigidly, casting her eyes downward toward the ground, while the swinging woman concentrates on the branch above. Both women’s bodies lack the voluptuousness of the Brown figures, their breasts less fully articulated. In contrast, the Brown version has more of a playful quality. The seated woman’s body is more relaxed, and she looks up at her companion and smiles.
LL: AJMiller Pt. LL on mat: No.22./Indian Girls
The artist; Alexander Brown, Liverpool, England, 1867; by descent to Mrs. J.B. Jardine, Chesterknowes, Scotland, 1946; present owner