Tuesday, August 9, 2011

American Artist William Jennys 1774-1858

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858), Unknown Woman

William Jennys, an itinerant portraitist, was painting in the vicinity of New Milford, Connecticut in the mid-1790s, & then in New York City. After 1800, he was traveling from the Connecticut River Valley into Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, & even ventured into the southern states.

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Young Lady. 1800-1802

William Matthew Jennys was born in Boston, Massachusettes, the son of itinerant portrait painter Richard Jennys & his wife Sarah Ireland. The elder Jennys painted & taught painting in Charleston & Savannah, before returning to Connecticut in 1791, to paint with his son William & to open another painting school. The younger Jennys trained with his father; & initially, they traveled together seeking commissions. William's style was more realistic than his father's. The younger Jennys could portray the personalities of his subjects but had a little difficulty with arms & hands.

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Woman with a Fan.

Although William first advertised alone in the Norwich, Connecticut Packet in 1792-3, it took him about 10 years to become financially secure enought to settle in one place for a while. During that time, he worked in Milford, Connecticut, & was listed in the New York City directories as a portraitist in 1797-98. In 1804, he finally settled in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where, during the next 5 years he had the most productive period of his career, completing 35 portraits. He lived there, except for a year, when he traveled to the Bahamas after the death of his father. When he returned to the United States, he worked as a comb maker in New York City. After 1817, he moved to Littleton, New Hampshire, with his wife, where he lived until his death in 1859.

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Portrait of a Woman

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Mrs. Chandler of Vermont. 1800-1802

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Mrs. Asa Benjamin. 1795

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Joanna Hoyt. 1802

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Elizabeth Stone Coffin

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Woman Wearing High Waist Bow and Bonnet with Matching Bow

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858). Mrs. Cooke.

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858), Brown-Haired Young Woman

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858), Peggy Ashley of Westfield, Massachusetts

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858) Brown-Haired Woman with Book

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858) Mary Grove (Mrs. Cephas Smith Jr & Child)

William Jennys (American artist, 1774-1858) Woman with a Fan