Monday, February 28, 2022

Women by American Artist James Peale (1749-1831)

James Peale (1749-1831). Anna Sophia Alexander Robertson (Mrs. William Heberton) 1816

At the outset of his career, when he was working closely with his brother Charles Willson Peale, James Peale learned to paint both portraits & still-lifes, while he was making frames for his brother's works.

James Peale ( 1749-1831). Martha Washington (1731-1802) 1796
By the mid-1780s, James had established his own artistic reputation independent from his older brother Charles.

James Peale (1749-1831). The Ramsey-Polk Family in Cecil County, Maryland 1793
At about this time, Charles Willson Peale turned over his own miniature portrait practice to him; and throughout the 1790s & early 1800s, James Peale devoted himself to miniature painting. Much of this work was watercolor on ivory.

James Peale (1749-1831), Maria Bassett, 1801.
In 1795, Peale exhibited a still life of fruit along with 9 miniatures & his family portrait at the Columbianum, a short-lived art academy in Philadelphia.

James Peale (1749-1831). Eliza Hughes
Around 1810, as Peale's eyesight began to weaken, he gave up painting miniatures to turn to larger portraits & still-life subjects, that were greatly admired & widely exhibited in Philadelphia, Boston, & Baltimore.

James Peale (1749-1831). Mary Polly Lawton Bringhurst 1790

The total number of Peale's landscape paintings remains unknown; but he executed more than 200 watercolor miniatures on ivory, perhaps 100 still-life paintings, probably fewer than 70 oil portraits, & at least 8 history paintings.

James Peale (1749-1831). Margarette Peale 1793
James Peale died in Philadelphia on May 24, 1831.

James Peale (1749-1831). Unidentified Girl with Bird 1770-75

James Peale (1749-1831). Ann Emily Rush
James Peale (1749-1831). Girl with a Doll

James Peale (1749-1831). Unidentified Woman 1802

James Peale (1749-1831). Olivia Simes Morris

James Peale (1749-1831). Elizabeth Oliphant 1795
James Peale (1749-1831). Jane Ramsay Peale
James Peale (1749-1831). Marcia Burns (Mrs. John Van Ness) 1797
James Peale (1749-1831). Anna and Margaretta Peale 1793
James Peale (1749-1831). Madame Dubocq and her Children 1807
James Peale (1749-1831). Susanne Correy 1790
James Peale (1749-1831). Mrs Samuel Simes and Edgar
James Peale (1749-1831). Mrs. John McCluney 1795

James Peale (1749-1831) View of the Wissahickon 1830

Click here for James Peale's still lifes of fruits & vegetables.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Food from Her Garden - by James Peale (1749-1831)

James Peale (1749-1831). c 1824 Still Life with Chinese Export Basket.

This time of year, I think of James Peale's still lifes, where he captures the Mid-Atlantic freshness & beauty of the summer & fall.

1795 Detail. James Peale (1739-1741). The Artist & His Family. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

In 1771, American painter Charles Willson Peale wrote to his London teacher, Pennsylvania expatriate artist Benjamin West, about his youngest sibling Jemmie, "the Youngest will be a painter, he coppys very well, and has painted a little from life." James Peale (1749-1831) was 23, and the die was cast.

James Peale (1749-1831). A Porcelain Bowl with Fruit.

James, who lost his father when he was an infant, was raised by his widowed mother & trained by his oldest brother Charles, to be a saddle maker & a painter. Charles Willson Peale had completed his apprenticeship in saddlery in 1762, just as James was reaching the age when a colonial boy might enter his apprenticeship. Charles had married, opened his saddle shop, and then fled creditors for Boston, leaving James to be apprenticed to a cabinetmaker-carpenter in Charlestown, Maryland, in 1765.

James Peale (1749-1831). c 1820 Still Life Balsam Apples and Vegetables.

James Peale began working in his brother’s painting studio about 1769, when Charles returned to Annapolis after 2 years of training in London under Benjamin West. James' carpentry skills made him indispensable in making frames for his brother’s paintings. In return Charles gave his brother lessons in keeping a sketchbook for drawing & in painting.

James Peale (1749-1831). c 1824 Still Life with Watermelon.

James Peale continued working in his brother’s Annapolis studio; until January 14, 1776, when he accepted a commission as an ensign in the army. Within 3 months he was promoted to captain, and after 3 years in the Revolutionary army, he received a personal letter from George Washington asking him to remain in service.

James Peale (1749-1831). c 1824 Still Life with Chinese Basket.

But in 1779, James Peale resigned his commission and moved to Philadelphia. He rejoined his brother Charles, who had moved there with his wife and family, & once again lived & worked in his brother’s studio. James Peale lived with his brother until 1782, when he married Mary Claypoole (1753–1829), sister of artist James Claypoole, Jr. (c 1743–1800).

James Peale (1749-1831). c 1824 Still Life.

During the 18th century, James continued to make frames for Charles’s oil paintings & began painting his own delicate miniature portraits as well as landscapes dotted with people, especially his family members. The brothers worked together painting & on a variety of projects such as making floats for the 1788 Federal Procession, the grand parade held in Philadelphia to commemorate the new United States Constitution. And the brothers worked apart developing their own distinctive styles & projects.

James Peale (1749-1831). c 1829 Still Life with Fruit on a Tabletop.

By the turn of the century, James began painting successful history paintings & exquisite neoclassical fruit still-life paintings. He continued to paint ivory miniatures, until his eyesight began to fail about 1820. Toward the end of his life, James Peale explored the romantic sublime in landscapes including thunderstorms, violently uprooted trees, & grand mountains.

James Peale (1749-1831). c 1829 Still Life

Just like his brother Charles Willson Peale, James Peale taught his children to paint. Three of his gifted daughters became accomplished painters. Anna Claypoole Peale (1798–1871) became a miniaturist & still-life painter. Margaretta Angelica Peale (1795–1882) painted trompe l’oeil subjects (similar to those of her cousin Raphaelle), fruit still lifes, & oil portraits. Sarah Miriam Peale (1800–1885) also became a fine portraitist & still-life painter.

James Peale (1749-1831). Fruit in a Basket.

James Peale painted miniatures, portraits, & historical paintings in his early career when he was working with his brother Charles Willson Peale.

James Peale (1749-1831). Fruits of Autumn

By the turn of the century, he began to explore still lifes & landscapes on his own. These are the still lifes from that period.

James Peale (1749-1831). Still Life with An Abundance of Fruit.

Between the period Peale began painting these still lifes & the end of his life, when he painted the fearsome sublime in landscapes of thunderstorms, violently uprooted trees, & towering mountains, Peale painted continued to paint these exquisite neo-classical still lifes.

James Peale (1749-1831). Still Life with Apples, Grapes, Pear.

James Peale (1749-1831). Still Life with Grapes and Apples on a Plate.

James Peale (1749-1831). Vegetable Still Life..

Thursday, February 24, 2022

American Women by Artist Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878)

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878) Elizabeth Bordley Polk Bend (Mrs. Joseph Grove Bend) c. 1820-1830.

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791-1878) was one of the 6 children of James Peale & Mary Claypoole. Her father, a skilled portraitist, still life painter, & miniaturist, trained her. She was considered a professional artist, when she still was in her early teens.

Anna Claypoole Peale by Her Father James Peale (1749-1831) 1812

In Philadelphia, Anna & her sister, Sarah Miriam (called Sally), began by helping their father with painting fabric for shawls. Anna Peale sold her first paintings, copies of French landscapes, at the age of 14.

Anna Claypoole Peale by Her Father James Peale (1749-1831) 1825

She is best known for her miniature portraits. Her uncle, Charles Willson Peale wrote of her work, “Anna in Miniature is becoming excellent.” After working in his studio for a year, Charles wrote of Anna’s progress, “Her merit in miniature painting brings her into high estimation, & so many Ladies & Gentleman desire to sit for her that she frequently is obliged to raise her prices.”

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Marianne Becket

Anna Peale’s first major exhibition was in 1811, when she was 20. Her work was featured at the first exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She continued to show her miniatures there for many years. In 1824, Anna Claypoole & her sister, Sarah Miriam Peale, were the 1st women to be elected members of the Pennsylvania Academy. Anna worked independently in Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, New York & Boston.

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Mrs Nathan Endicott (Margaret Oliver Hicks)

Peale married twice. Her 1st wedding was in 1829, when she was 38. Her husband was William Staughton, a popular Baptist preacher & former president of the college that now is George Washington University. Just 3 months after Peale & Staughton’s marriage, Staughton died. She waited more than a decade to remarry & was 50, when she wed General William Duncan in 1841. This marriage lasted until Duncan’s death in 1864.

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Portrait of a Woman

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791 – 1878) Young Woman with a Book

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Woman in a Red Dress

Anna Claypoole Peale (1791–1878) Anna Sarah Ann Beck

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

American Woman at Leisure Gazing Out Her Window

Robert Jenkins Onderdonk (American painter, 1852-1917) Mrs E B Chandler in Her Room c 1899.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Woman at Leisure Lunch with the Artist

Henry Siddons Mowbray (American painter, 1858-1928) Studio Lunch 1880-83 Detail.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Men & Women Share the Chores of Raising, Catching, & Processing Food & Drink in 1830s-40s Rural America

William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) At the WellWilliam Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Bird-EggingWilliam Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Catching CrabsWilliam Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Catching Rabbits 1839William Penn Morgan (American painter, 1826-1900) The Village Pump
William Sidney Mount (American painter, 1807-1868) Making Cider 1841