Monday, November 5, 2012
American painter Reubens Peale 1784-1865
If you visit this blog regularly, you know that I favor portraits over other paintings. In the case of Reubens Peale, the portraits are of Reubens, not by him. Reubens Peale was the 4th son of Charles Willson Peale. Rubens had weak eyes &, unlike most of his siblings, did not set out to be an artist. He traveled with the family in 1802 to Britain, returning in 1803, to attend classes at the University of Pennsylvania. He became Director of his father's museum in Philadelphia from 1810 to 1821, and then of the Peale Museum in Baltimore, with his brother, Rembrandt Peale. He opened his own museum in New York in 1825, (along with the opening of the Erie Canal). By 1840, Peale changed the name to the New York Museum of Natural History & Science. The Panic of 1837 sent his museum into debt, as it competed with the American Museum, of P.T. Barnum. Rubens sold his entire collection to Barnum in 1843. In October 1855, he turned to still life painting, as an extension of his interest in natural history. In 1864, he returned to Philadelphia, and studied landscape painting with Edward Moran. In the last 10 years of his life, he produced 130 paintings.