Portrait of a Lady, John Carlin
Watercolor on ivory, roughly 4 x 3 inches (9 x 7 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
It’s possible that this is a grayscale image of a more colorful painting — the Met’s website pages doesn’t comment — but my guess is that it was painted monochromatically.
The portrait is obviously of a real and not idealized person, and sensitively painted in that wonderful drybrush/stipple watercolor technique that was prevalent in the mid to late 19th century.
At that time, it was commonplace to paint small portraits in watercolor on ivory, often in an oval as part of a broach. In this case, the painting is rectangular, but not much larger than an oval might have been.
I find it interesting that the artist has balanced with composition with the edge of a chair and the suggestion of a room corner behind the sitter.