Gouache, pastel and charcoal on tan wove paper. 600x450 mm; 23 1/2x 17 3/4 inches. Signed in black ink, lower right recto.
Peterson (1876-1965) was born in Elgin, Illinois, and grew up in relative poverty. She showed artistic promise from a young age and, without any formal training, was accepted into the Pratt Institute, New York, at age 18. She graduated from Pratt in 1901, and continuted her education by enrolling at the Art Students League, New York, while simultaneously holding several art education positions. She pursued further artistic training in Europe, at the London School of Art, and in Paris, where she studied under a number of artists, including Jacques-Émile Blanche and Charles Cottet. More influential to her artwork than any formal training however was the time Peterson was able to spend in Gertrude Stein's Paris salon, situated around the corner from her Montparnasse apartment, where she was exposed to the most avant-garde work of the time, including paintings by Van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso and Matisse.