Tuesday, January 31, 2017

18C American Mothers & Children by Ralph Earl 1751-1801

1788 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Martha Tennent (Mrs. David Rogers) and Daughter.

1790 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mary Floyd (Mrs. Benjamin Tallmadge) with Son and Daughter Mary Henry Floyd Jones.

1790 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Abigail Starr (Mrs. William Taylor) and Son Daniel.

1791 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Mrs. William Moseley and Son Charles.

1793 Ralph Earl (1751-1801). Sarah McCurdy (Mrs. Henry Channing) and Son William Henry

1796 Ralph Earl (1751-1801) Mrs. Elijah Boardman and Son

1796 Ralph Earl (1751-1801) Annie Lovett McClellan and Daughter

Before Ralph Earl returned to the United States, he painted this mother and daughter in England.

1783 Ralph Earl (1751-1801) Lady Williams and Child

Monday, January 30, 2017

18C British American Women & Children & their Dogs

Before the 1760s, most dogs appear in colonial American paintings with children. Smaller pet dogs often were referred to as comfort dogs. Most other dogs depicted in 18C English & Anglo American paintings were sporting dogs.William Shakespeare had noted fox-hunting hounds in A Midsummer Night's Dream, when Theseus, duke of Athens, tells Hippolyta of "the music of my hounds, matched in mouth like bells / Each under each. A cry more tunable / Was never holloed to nor cheered with horn." 


1710 Justus Engelhardt Kuhn (fl 1707-1717). Eleanor Darnall 1704 - 1796

During the 17C in colonial British America, life for a dog could prove tenative, especially during the Salem witch trials. From June to September in 1692, 156 people were accused; 14 women, 5 men, & 2 dogs were hanged--children accused the dogs of giving them the "evil eye."

However, Pennsylvania's founder William Penn (1644-1718) took a more sympathetic approach to dogs.  He wrote in his Reflexions and Maxims that "men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children."



1710s Justus Engelhardt Kuhn (fl 1707-1717) Young Girl

An increase in dogs as pets occurred just as scientific classification of species of plants & animals was growing. The 1st official classification of English breeds was published in 1570, by British physician John Caius (1510-1573) in De Canibus Britannicis, or Of English Dogges.  Among other types, he identified bloodhounds & terriers, otter hounds & Maltese. During the 18C, an era of taxonomies & catalogues, Georges Buffon (1707-1788) & Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) expanded on the definition of Caius, with Linnaeus listing such animals as the Shepherd's Dog, the Pomeranian, the Iceland Dog, the Lesser Water Dog, the Mastiff, & the Barbet.


1715 Attributed to Charles Bridges (1670-1747). Child of Rev. Richard Chase (1692-1742) of London and Maryland, and his wife Margaret Frances Townley (d. 1741)

As the scientific interest in dog species grew, the expanding love of humans for canines was endorsed by philosophers, playwrights, and poets. Voltaire wrote, "the best thing about man is the dog." Alexander Pope declared that "histories are more full of examples of fidelity of dogs than of friends."



c 1720 Boy of the Beekman Family Attributed to The Schuyler Limner (for his portraits of the Schulyer family). The Schuyler Limner could possibly have been the artist Nehemiah Partridge (active c. 1717–c. 1725).

In Pope's Essay on Man, he writes condescendingly of Native Americans & their faithful dogs.

Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul proud Science never taught to stray
Far as the Solar Walk, or Milky Way;
Yet simple Nature to his hope has giv'n,
Behind the cloud-topp'd hill, an humbler heav'n;
Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
Some happier island in the wat'ry-waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christian thirst for gold.
To be, contents his natural desire,--
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.


1728 New York Depeyster Limmer. Depeyster Twins: Eva & Catherina

Writing tributes to beloved pets increased into the 18C.  In 1693, English poet & diplomat Matthew Prior (1664-1721) wrote a short elegy at the death of True, a pet of Queen Mary II:
Envious Fate has claim'd its due, 
Here lies the mortal part of True.


c 1730 British American Boy in Blue Coat 

English poet John Gay (1685-1732) published "An Elegy on a Lap-Dog" in 1720:

 He's dead. Oh lay him gently in the ground! 
 And may his tomb be by this verse renown'd. 
 Here Shock, the pride of all his kind, is laid; 
 Who fawned like man, but ne'er like man betray'd.

1730s Child of the Pierpont Family

In Scotland, Robert Burns (1759-1796) wrote that "the dog puts the Christian to shame."

In the British American colonies in 1738, Benjamin Franklin wrote, "There are three faithful friends—an old wife, an old dog, and ready money."


c. 1735 Charles Bridges (1670-1747). Anne Byrd

The rise in fox hunting in both England and its American colonies spawned a need for a medium-sized hound with the stamina to follow prey for miles, a keen nose for scent, & a bark that could summon his master from a distance. While women did not participate in the hunt itself, they were part of the audience & the elegant suppers that followed the hunt.

One of the first packs of hunting dogs was brought to America in 1650 by Robert Brooke of Maryland. They were black & tan & chased the slower gray fox. Often recorded as English hounds, these dogs now are thought to have been the Irish Kerry Beagle.


Historian James Horn records that in 1799, a wry New England minister gave a glimpse of the sport:  From about the first of Octor. this amusement begins, and continues till March or April. A party of 10, and to 20, or 30, with double the number of hounds, begins early in the morning, they are all well mounted. They pass thro' groves, Leap fences, cross fields, and steadily pursue, in full chase wherever the hounds lead. At length the fox either buroughs out of their way, or they take him. If they happen to be near, when the hounds seize him, they take him alive, and put him into a bag and keep him for a chase the next day. They then retire in triumph, having obtained a conquest to a place where an Elegant supper is prepared. After feasting themselves, and feeding their prisoner, they retire to their own houses. The next morning they all meet at a place appointed, to give their prisoner another chance for his life. They confine their hounds, and let him out of the bag—away goes Reynard at liberty—after he has escaped half a mile—hounds and all are again in full pursuit, nor will they slack their course thro' the day, unless he is taken. This exercise they pursue day after day, for months together. This diversion is attended by old men, as well as young—but chiefly by married people. I have seen old men, whose heads were white with age, as eager in the chase as a boy of 16. It is perfectly bewitching. The hounds indeed make delightful musick—when they happen to pass near fields, where horses are in pasture, upon hearing the hounds, they immediately begin to caper, Leap the fence and pursue the Chase—frequent instances have occurred, where in leaping the fence, or passing over gullies, or in the woods, the rider has been thrown from his horse, and his brains dashed out, or otherwise killed suddenly. This however never stops the chase—one or two are left to take care of the dead body, and the others pursue. 

1720s-30s Gerardus Duyckinck (1695-1746). Around 1735, the New York artist Gerardus Duyckinck painted the portrait of young Jacomina Winkler, who was probably 10 or 12.  She is holding a very unhappy, probably fanciful, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in her lap.  Poses & dogs were often copied from English mezzotint engravings.

Avid fox hunter George Washington, who named his dogs Sweet Lips, Venus, & True Love, during the Revolutionary War, even returned a dear pet, a stray terrier, to the enemy - its owner, British General Howe, along with a note that read: "General Washington does himself the pleasure to return ...a dog, which accidentally fell into his hands."

Thomas Jefferson did not particularly share his fellow Virginian's attachment to dogs.  In 1789, returning from his assignment as ambassador to France, he imported "shepherd's dogs" for Monticello & later presented Washington with puppies.



In Williamsburg and its environs, the Virginia Gazette often carried advertisements for lost dogs. In 1751, Alexander Finnie, who ran the Raleigh Tavern, offered to pay "Half a Pistole" to anyone who returned his "spaniel BITCH, with white and brown spots." In 1752 Williamsburg, a pet dog Ball, a reddish spaniel was lost, and his owner James Spiers was willing to part with a dollar to get him back. In 1774, Glasgow, a brown-and-white bulldog with an iron collar, had gone missing and his owner offered 20 shillings for his return. In the same paper in 1777, a pet black Pomeranian called Spado was stolen and a $20 reward was offered.

In the only written connection between dogs and women that I have found yet---in 1775, Williamsburg's Virginia Gazette printed,  

"On the Death of a Lady's Dog"
Thou, happy creature, art secure 
From all the troubles we endure..

1730s Gerardus Duyckinck (1695-1746). Lady Undressing for a Bath


1730 John Smibert (1688-1751). Mrs Nathaniel Cunningham


C 1750 John Wollaston (1710-1775) Magdalen Charlton (Mrs. Thomas Dongan)


c 1760 Benjamin West (1738-1820). Anne Allen (later Mrs. John Penn) 

1760 English artist James McArdell (1728-1965) British mezzotint of Lady Caroline Russell  after Joshua Reynolds (English Rococo Era Painter, 1723-1792) The model for Copley's painting below.
1763 John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) Mrs Jerathmael Bowers (1735–1799) (Mary Sherburne). The Metropolitan Museum of Art tells us that Mary was the daughter of Joseph Sherburne by his marriage to Mary Watson in 1734. As her father's sole heir, she received a substantial fortune. She married Jerathmael Bowers, a wealthy, prominent Quaker living in Swansea, Massachusetts. They had a son & 3 daughters. This portrait is based on a  print by James McArdell, after a 1759 portrait of painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Copley followed this model with precision, substituting the face of the sitter for that of Lady Russell. Tradition has it that the portrait was painted about the time of the British colonial sitter's 1763 marriage. She may never have owned a pet dog.

c 1770-90s Unknown artist, Child with a Dog


1772 William Williams (Colonial American painter, 1727-1791). The William Denning Family

1773 Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). Christian Stelle Banister & Son John


Begun in 1773 Charles Willson Peale (American painter, 1741-1827) The Peale Family


Unknown Artist Boy Of Hallett Family With Dog

1787 Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). Hartley Family

1785-90 Beardsley Limner Possibly Sarah Bushnell Perkins (1771 - 1831). Elizabeth Davis (Mrs Hezekiah Beardsley)

Lady with a Dog 1786 Mather Brown (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1761–1831 London) The Metropolitan Museum of Art tells us that the 1st American artist to enroll in the Royal Academy in London, Brown also studied under his fellow countrymen Gilbert Stuart & Benjamin West. Brown enjoyed the peak of his success during the late 1780s. Like Copley, whose work he emulated, Brown surrounds his sitter’s sharply defined face with loosely painted clothing, props, & background effects including a dog. 


1787 Christian Gullager (American artist, 1759-1826 Sarah Greenleaf (Mrs Oflin Boardman) & Benjamin Greenleaf Boardman


1787 Unknown artist, Child with Dog

1789 - 1791 Payne Limner. Martha Payne


1790 Payne Limner Alexander Spotswood Payne & John Robert


1797 Christian Gullager Christian Gullager (American artist, 1759-1826) Baby with Dog


1798 John Ritto Penniman 1782–1841  Family Group

By the dawn of the 19th century, there could be no doubt that dogs were an integral part of the American family.


 John Trumbull (American painter, 1756-1843) Sarah Trumbull with a Spaniel c 1802

Sunday, January 29, 2017

American Mothers & Children by Charles Willson Peale 1741-1827

1790 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Sarah Cantwell Jones (Mrs. Robert Milligan) and Child.

Unlike the mothers with children painted by his conemporary artist Ralph Earl in contemporary dress, most of Charles Willson Peale's mothers depicted with their children are in loose, classical, timeless costumes.

Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mrs Thomas McKean (Sarah Armitage) and Her Daughter, Maria Louisa

1772 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Ann Baldwin (Mrs. Samuel Chase) and Her Daughters Anne and Matilda.


1772 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Rachel Weeping - Mrs. Charles Willson Peale.


1773 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mary Norris (Mrs. John Dickinson and daughter Sally.


1777-80 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mrs. Samuel Mifflin & Granddaughter Rebecca Mifflin Francis


1785 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Ann Marsh (Mrs David Forman) and Child


1785 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mrs. James Crawford and Son


1787 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Susan Armitage (Mrs. Thomas McKean) and Daughter Sophia Dorothea


1788 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Peggy Sanderson (Mrs. Christopher Hughes) and Daughter


1789 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mary Carr Grundy


1789 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mary Gibson (Mrs. Richard Tilghman) & sons


1789 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Sarah Buckland (Mrs. Callahan) & Anne


1790 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Hannah Duncan and son John (Mrs. John Nicholson)


1791 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mrs. Rachel Brewer Peale and Eleanor


1794 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mrs. Thomas Leiper and Her Daughter, Helen Hamilton Leiper


1796 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mrs. Robert Gilmore with daughters Jane and Elizabeth


1818 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827) Mother Caressing Her Convalescant Daughter