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EARLY AMERICAN PORTRAIT
PAINTERS IN MINIATURE



BY



THEODORE BOLTON




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NEW YORK

FREDERIC FAIRCHILD SHERMAN

MCMXXI







Copyright 1921, by
Frederic Fairchild Sherman



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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Malbone, Edward

Charles Harris \ v ' '

Nicholas Bowman f




FACING PAGE



Copley, John Singleton

Self Portrait 7

Van Dyck, James

James Lyon 7

Brown, J. Henry

President Buchanan 10

Dunlap, William

President Tyler 10

Fulton, Robert

Samuel Beach 26



^ Duval, Ambrose

Gov. Wm. C. C. Claiborne 26

BOUNETHEAU, HENRY B.

Henry M. Manigault 42

Baker, George A., Jr.

Andrew Jackson 42

Birch, William
vJ George Washington 58

Petticolas, E. A.

George Washington 58

Thornton, Dr. W 7 illiam

George Washington 62

Ramage, John

George Washington 62

Clark, Alvan

Barnabas Clark 70



in






FACING PAGE



Gimbrede, Thomas

Mr. Schley 70

Bridport, H.

Caroline Dugan 74

Inman, Henry

Portrait of a Lady 74

Jarvis, John Wesley

Miss Jarvis 90

Allston, Washington

Captain A. H. Pray 90

Trott, Benjamin

Lewis Adams 106

Peale, James

Mrs. John P. Van Ness . . . 106

Andre, Major John

Margaret Shippen 122

Staigg, Richard M.

John Lothrop Motley 122

Pelham, Henry

Jonathan Clark 138

Savage, Edward

Self Portrait 138

Field, Robert

George Washington 154

James Sargent Ewing, M.D 154

Wood, Joseph

Portrait of a Man 158

Munger, George

Self Portrait 158

Hill, Pamela

Rebecca Dean Salisbury 166

W 7 illiams, Henry

Samuel Larkin 166

iv



To



Ruel Pardee Tolma



N



7 HE present volume lists as many of the portrait
painters in miniature, both native Americans
and foreign painters working in America, from the
earliest times until J850, as it has been possible to
enumerate. It includes not only ivory miniatures
but small portraits in oil and water color as well.



FOREWORD

i

The word "miniature" comes from "minium" meaning
"vermilion," the color used by the illuminators of manu-
scripts as a border to their decorations. At what time a like-
ness with a vermilion border about it was detached from the
page of vellum and used as a portable portrait is both difficult
and useless to determine. Suffice it to say that the dozen
undoubted miniatures by the first great miniature painter,
Hans Holbein, were all painted on vellum, or the backs of
playing cards, and that was the material generally used in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in England by such men
as Nicholas Hillyarde, Isaac and Peter Olliver, John Hoskins,
Samuel Cooper, Thomas Flatman and Lawrence Crosse.

It was not until the beginning of the eighteenth century
that ivory was used as a painting surface, but upon its adop-
tion it was used almost exclusively. Samuel Shelly, John
Smart, Andrew Robertson and Richard Cosway, to mention
a few of the finest English miniature painters of the period,
painted almost entirely on ivory. The change was not partic-
ularly for the better. Painting in water color on thin sheets of
ivory gummed at the corners to a piece of card is a most pre-
carious method. The color may be ruined or entirely removed
by the touch of a moistened finger and the ivory, too, is most
sensitive to changes of temperature. Hung near a fireplace
the ivory is apt to buckle or split. As in the case of other
painting, direct sunlight is certain to affect the colors. Per-
haps the best way of keeping the small portraits is in a cab-
inet that can be covered when they are not being enjoyed.

vii



Glass at the back as well as the face is an excellent manner of
framing ivory miniatures.

In more recent times the derivation of the word "mini-
ature" has been lost or confused with the word "minute,"
and the word in its modern sense means simply a small
portrait.

ii

Miniature painting in America started with no more than
an ornamental purpose for bracelets, snuff box tops, and
watch lids. Even Charles Willson Peale painted miniatures
to serve this end. Finally it developed into small portraiture
worthy of a special frame. The leisure of the people of the
new republic was generously expended upon portraits. 'The
country was at this time, mad on the subject generally,"
writes Mr. John Hill Morgan in his excellent article on
Saint-Memin, and portraiture in oils, miniature and engrav-
ing flourished in a manner it has never since attained.
Stuart, Sully, Trumbull, Trott, Malbone, Fraser, the Peale
family — these and many lesser men could not supply the
demand. Englishmen like Miles, Birch, Sharpless and Field
came to the country and painted with success, and countless
Frenchmen varying from the excellence of Saint-Memin to
mediocrity found full employment.

The movement was a perfectly natural, spontaneous
growth. In many cases the craftsmanship is impeccable and
would cause astonishment to any one not familiar with the
period. For the artists were trained — a number had the
advantage of European training but for the most part they
trained themselves.

The later miniatures were painted on larger surfaces.
Some were rectangular in shape, often they were painted on
paper and on cabinet size Wood panels.

viii



Of all the rich variety of portraits produced by the early
American miniature painters many compare with the work
of European masters in the art. Four names stand out above
the rest — Malbone, Fraser, Trott and Field. Miniatures by
the eminently artistic Edward Malbone have long been
eagerly sought after. Less known but of high worth is the
serious art of Charles Fraser. The brilliant Benjamin Trott
ranks with Edward Malbone and Charles Fraser. These
three artists were native Americans. The fourth was an
Englishman who spent almost his entire artistic career in
this country and Nova Scotia. His name was Robert Field.
His miniatures are superb.

Each of these artists in his different way raised the smaller
portraiture to the dignity of the larger.

Portrait painters in oil also otten painted miniatures that
compare with those of the artists who were exclusively minia-
ture painters. Among these were Henry Inman, John
Wesley Jarvis, Matthew Harris Jouett and Thomas Sully.

John Trumbull's miniatures are painted in oils as are a
number by Copley.

At last a decline set in but it was not because the impulse
had spent its force. The doom of the miniature came with
the advent of the daguerreotype and Henry Shumway finally
reduced to tinting photographs is symbolical of the change.
The present book includes only those artists working before
1850 when the photograph had already numbered the days
of the small portrait.



in



My indebtedness is great. Without the aid I have received
this undertaking would have been practically impossible.
At the outset I wish to thank Mr. Ruel P. Tolman and



IX



Mr. F. Fairchild Sherman. To Mr. Tolman is due the sug-
gestion of the book- — to Mr. Sherman its publication.

In the way of assistance I must speak first of Miss Alice
R. H. Smith, Mr. Harry Piers and Mr. John Hill Morgan.
The information I have received from them, their unfailing
responses and their time ungrudgingly given must receive
from me my fullest public acknowledgement and my heartiest
thanks.

I wish to thank, too, all those who have answered my
questions or have allowed their treasures to be reproduced.
My indebtedness extends in four instances to England.

Mr. Walter L. Ehrich has been of especial service.

My less formal thanks must be given the curators and
secretaries of the twenty-two art and historical associations
who have given me aid in many ways, it is not likely that
another writer could have had more generous assistance.

Theodore Bolton

WASHINGTON, D.C., OCTOBER, I92O



ACRES, John Edward

Flourished 181 5-1826.
Miniature painter.

Acres studied at the Royal Academy. He came
to Sydney, Cape Breton County, early in 1815 to see
about a land inheritance. Mr. Harry Piers in a com-
munication to the writer states: 'From about Septem-
ber, 1 81 5, till 1 816 or later he was in Halifax but re-
turned to Sydney about 1817. He went again to Hali-
fax sometime before 1823, and apparently was still
painting miniatures in Halifax in 1826. He committed
suicide at Halifax soon afterwards."
Mr. Wilkie? inscribed on back: "Halifax, Jan., 1823,
Acres, Painter." Mr. George Ritchie, Halifax, N. S.

AGATE, Alfred T.

b. 1818; d. January 5, 1846, New York City.
Miniature painter.

Alfred T. Agate was the younger brother of the
painter F. S. Agate. He travelled with Captain Wilkes'
expedition making drawings for the government service
at that time and later. Francis Emmons wrote a brief
account of his life.
1-3. Three miniature portraits.

National Academy Ex. 1837-38.
AKIN, James

b. about 1773 South Carolina; d. July 8, 184.6, Phila-
delphia.
Engraver, caricaturist and portrait painter in water colors.

He engraved illustrations in Salem in 1804 and in
1805 he was in Newbury. In 1808 he settled in Phila-

Acres — Akin: 2

1



delphia becoming in turn designer, pharmacist, res-
tauranteur and patent draughtsman. See: 'The Gran-
ite Magazine," October, 1898.

1. Thomas Leavitt.

2. Hannah (Melcher) Leavitt.

ALLEN, Sarah Lockhart

b. August 2, s/9J, Salem; d. there July 11, 187"/.
Miniature painter and portrait draughtsman in pastel.

In Felt's "Annals of Salem" there is the following
note for 1820: 'Portraits of full size are executed by
Miss Sarah Allen in crayons. She is a native of this
city." The following portraits are all miniatures.

1. Catherine Princess of Nassau, after Morelese.

Essex Institute.

2. Charlotte Story Forrester, 1832. 334 x 3.

Essex Institute.

3. Unknown boy. Essex Institute.

4. Unknown woman. Essex Institute.

5. Thorwaldsen. copy? Boston Museum.

ALLSTON, Washington

b. November 5, 1779, Brook Green Domain, Waccamaw
Co., S. C; d. July g, 184.3, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Historical, religious and portrait painter.

Graduating from Harvard in 1800 Allston went to
Charleston, South Carolina and in 1801 sailed with
Malbone for England where they studied in London
under Benjamin West. In 1804 Allston went to Paris
and Rome. He returned to the United States in 1809.
In 181 1 he went to London with Morse. In 1817 he
revisited Paris. He was elected R. A. in 181 8.

Allen — Allston: 3



1. Captain A. S. Pray. Rhode Island School of Design.

2. Mrs. Huyer. :}{x i -; , .

Mr. R. T. Haines Halsev, X. V.

3. John Harris, rectangular. 2 -'4 x iyk. Painted in 1809.

Boston Museum.

AMES, Daniel F.

Flourished 1841-/852, New York.
Miniature painter.

AMES, Ezra

b. 1768; d. Feb. 23, 1S36.
Portrait painter in oils and miniature.

Ezra Ames started as a coach painter. He later took
to portrait painting with such success that his picture
of Governor George Clinton, exhibited at the Pennsyl-
vania Academy, received particular notice. He painted
a series of some of the members of the New York State
legislature.
I. Jesse Hawley. 2 x 3^ m rectangle.

N. Y. Historical Society.
1. Catherine Louisa Douw Townsend. 3 in. oval.

Albany Institute.

3. John Fondey Townsend. 3 in. oval.

Albany Institute.

4. Margaret Livingston Douw. 3 in. oval.

Albany Institute.

5. John Fondey, Jr. 3 in. oval. Albany Institute.

6. John Fondey Townsend, M. D. 4 in. oval.

Albany Institute.

7. Catherine Douw Gansevoort. 4 in. oval.

Albany Institute.

Ames, D. — Ames, E: 4
3



AMES, Julius R.

Flourished 1834-1850.

Miniature painter.

He was the son of Ezra Ames and worked in Albany.

ANDERSON, Alexander

b. April 21, 177 S-> New York; d. January 17, 1870, Jersey

City.
Wood engraver.

Alexander Anderson is rated as the first American
wood engraver. He was a copper plate engraver as
early as 1794 but to please his father he studied medicine
at Columbia College, obtained his degree in 1796 and
practised until 1798. In 1797 he resumed engraving.
In 1820 he devoted himself almost entirely to engraving
on wood taking the work of Thomas Bewick as his
model. His work in miniature is rare. See F. M. Burr:
"Life of Alexander Anderson," 1893.
1. Julia Malvinia Anderson. 1820. 2^x2^.

N. Y. Historical Society.

ANDRE, John

b. 175I) London; d. October .?, 1780, Tappan on the

Hudson.
Major in the British Army and amateur artist.

Major Andre who was executed as a spy during the
American Revolution, was an amateur artist of great
ability. He painted water color landscapes; assisted at
the fetes in Philadelphia by drawing a costume for the
"Ladies of the Blended Rose;" probably carved the
wooden figure of a British dragoon in the Wister House
in Philadelphia; and undoubtedly designed scenery and

Ames — Andre: 5

4



drops for the small theatre in Southwark. He also
painted a few miniatures and in a letter, speaking of his
capture in 1775 at Lancaster he said: 'I have been
taken prisoner by the Americans and stripped of every-
thing except the picture of Honora which I concealed in
my mouth. Preserving that I yet think myself fortu-
nate." This miniature was of his own painting.

1. Miss Peggy Shippen. Pencil.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

1. Honora Sneyd. 1769.

ANDREWS, Ambrose
Flourished 1829-1852.
Portrait painter in oils and miniature.

From 1829 to 1831 he was in Troy, N. Y. He later
moved to Saint Louis and then to New York.
I. General Sam Houston. N. A. Exhibition, 1849.

ANNELLI, Francesco

Flourished 1841-1828, New York.
Historical, portrait and miniature painter.

ARMSTRONG, William G.

b. 1823, Montgomery Co., Pa.; still living in Philadelphia

in zS8o.
Engraver and portrait painter in water colors.

Little is known of W 7 illiam G. Armstrong except that
he came to Philadelphia, was a pupil of Longacre, drew
small portraits and finally became a line engraver. For
Longacre's "National Portrait Gallery" he engraved
portraits of John McLane after Sully, Winfield Scott
after Ingham and Thomas Pinckney after Trumbull.

Andrews — Armstrong: 6
5



I. Francis Hopkinson. Water color copy of the portrait
by Pine. Ehrich Galleries.

ATHERTON, E.

Flourished 1841-1842, Boston.

Miniature painter.

There was an Ezra Atherton, a wood engraver who
worked between 1 830-1 835 and he may have been
identical with E. Atherton the miniature painter who is
mentioned in the Boston directories for 1841-1842.

BADGER, Joseph W.

Flourished /8j2-/8j8, New York.

Miniature painter.

Joseph W. Badger worked in New York City. It
would be well to remember that there were two portrait
painters of the same name living a little later in Boston.
Thomas Badger lived there from 1 836 to 1 859 and James
W. Badger lived there from 1845 to 1846. There was
also a John C. Badger in Philadelphia making crayon
portraits in 1855.

I. Mrs. Cherry. N. A. Exhibition, 1837.

BAKER, George Augustus

b. iy6o y S trass burg, Germany; d. after 1830 {New York?),
Miniature painter.

The father of George A. Baker, Jr.

BAKER, George Augustus, Jr.

b. 1 82 1 New York; d. there April 2, 1880.
Portrait painter in oils and miniature.

At sixteen George A. Baker, Jr., became a miniature
painter with such success that he painted one hundred

Atherton — Baker: 7

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and forty miniatures during his first year. I lis work in
this branch belongs to the earlier part of his career — he
later took up portrait painting in oils. In 1 844-1 846
he studied in Europe. In 1851 he was elected N. A.
1-4. Four Miniatures. N. A. Exhibition, N. Y., 1838.

5. Mrs. R. W. Meade, after Stuart.

6. General Andrew Jackson. 4x3^.

The Ehrich Galleries.
BALDWIN, William

Flourished 1827-/846, New Orleans.
Miniature painter.

BALL, Thomas

b. June j>, iSiQy Charlestown, Mass.; d. igii.
Sculptor and portrait painter in oils and miniature.

BARBlkRE-WALBONNE, Jacques Luc

b. 7769, France; d. after f/po.

Miniature painter.

Barbiere-Walbonne was trained in the studio of
Louis David. He was sent to the United States by Louis
XVI to paint a miniature of George Washington and to
deliver to the first President his majesty's present of the
Badge of the Order of Saint-Esprit. He painted a
replica of this miniature for himself which is the one
listed below.

I. George Washington. Mr. C. Duhamel, 1881.

BARKER, M.

Flourished 1820, New York.
Miniature painter.

1. Robert P. Lee, 1820. Exhibition, Newport, R. L, 1890.

Baldwin — Barker: 8

7



BARRALET, John James

b. about 1747, Dublin; d. January 16, 1S/5, Philadelphia.

Engraver and water-color painter of landscapes and portraits.

He went to London about 1770, returned to Ireland

in 1779 and sailed for the United States in 1795, settling

in Philadelphia.

BARRATT, Thomas E.

Flourished 1837-1854, Philadelphia.
Miniature painter.

He may have been identical with or a relation to
Edward Barratt who painted miniatures in Dublin in
1790.

1-3. Three portraits in miniature.

Penn. Academy, 1847-48.
4. J. S. Da Solle. Lithographed by A. Newsam.

BEARD, George

Flourished 1840, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Miniature painter.

BELZONS

Flourished 1779, Charleston, 8. C.
Miniature painter.

Nothing is known of "Mr. Belzons a French gentle-
man" who painted miniatures in Charleston, South
Carolina beyond the fact that he was the first drawing
instructor, in 1799, of Thomas Sully whose sister he
married. The teacher and pupil came to blows and
Sully left after a brief period. Dunlap remarks: "he
was a very poor painter."

Barralet — Belzons: 9
8



BENBRIDGE, Henry

Often erroneously spelled " Bembridge."

b. May 20, 1744, Philadelphia; d. there February, 1812.

Portrait painter in oils and miniature.

Benbridge went to Italy where he studied under
Anton Mengs and Pompeio Battoni and there attracted
the attention of James Boswell, the biographer of Dr.
Johnson, who commissioned him to paint a portrait of
General Paoli. In 1769 he moved to London and was
befriended by Benjamin West. In 1770 he painted a
portrait of Benjamin Franklin that was exhibited at
the Royal Academy. July of that year he returned to
America. He was elected a member of the American
Philosophical Society in 1771 . Declining health led
him to visit Charleston, South Carolina, in 1779 and
here he painted many portraits now masquerading
under the name of Copley. About the end of the century
he moved to Norfolk, Virginia. His remaining years
he spent in Philadelphia.

1. Self-portrait.

BINGHAM, George Caleb

b. March 20, 181 1, Augusta Co., Va.; d. July 7, i8/p 3

Kansas City, Mo.
Portrait and genre painter.

In St. Louis Bingham met Chester Harding in 1820.
In 1827 he studied law and was a lawyer, politician and
cabinet maker before finally adopting the career of an
artist. He met Harding again in 1827. He went to
Dusseldorf in 1857. He travelled in the eastern cities
until 1877 when he was made professor of art in the
University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri. See Fern,

Benbridge — Bingham: 10
9



Helen Rusk: "George Caleb Bingham," Kansas City,
1917.

1. John Quincy Adams. Cabinet-size. On wood.

G. B. Rollins Estate, Columbia, Mo., 1917.

2. John Howard Payne. 9x7. Water-color.

Mrs. J. V. C. Karnes, 191 7.
BIRCH, B.
Flourished 1784, New York.
Miniature painter.

He inserted an advertisement in Loudon's "New
York Packet," for November 25, 1784.

BIRCH, Thomas

b. 1787, London; d. January 14, 1831, Philadelphia.

Landscape, mariiie and miniature painter.

Thomas Birch came to the United States with his
father in 1793 and settled near Philadelphia painting
small profile portraits. In 1807 he was in Delaware. He
then started painting marine views with ships and
finally about 181 2, also took up historical painting.
He must, however, have continued miniature painting
for in the catalogue ot the Pennsylvania Academy Ex-
hibition of 1 817 he is listed as a "Landscape and Minia-
ture Painter, Lombard above Tenth Street, Philadel-
phia." He was a member of the Pennsylvania Academy
and an Associate N. A.

BIRCH, William Russell

b. April 9, I755-, Warwick, England; d. August 7, 1834,

Philadelphia.
Miniature painter in enamel, etcher and engraver.

William Birch exhibited forty-one miniatures at the
Royal Academy during 1781 and 1782. Sir Joshua

Birch, B. — Birch, W.: 11

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Reynolds employed him to make miniature copies of his
paintings and his interest in the technical side of his art
was such that he discovered a red brown enamel which
he afterwards often used in the backgrounds of his
miniatures. For this discovery he received, in 1785, a
medal from the Society of Arts. In 1791 he published a
book of his engravings after pictures by Richard Wilson,
Thomas Rowlandson and other artists called "Delices
de la Grande Bretagne." In 1794 he came to the
United States and settled in Philadelphia where, as he
himself wrote: "Mr. Bingham was my first employer
in America, to instruct his two daughters .
attended by one of their friends. I then built me a
furnace, painted a full-size picture in enamel of Mr.
Bingham and a smaller one for Mrs. Bingham." Shortly
after he met with great success, gave up the lessons,
painted about sixty enamel copies after Stuart's Wash-
ington besides excellent original work in miniature, and
engraved two volumes of landscapes and city scenes
after drawings by various artists. John Neagle painted
a portrait of him in his old age. Extracts from an un-
published autobiography of William Birch are printed
in A. H. W 7 harton's "Heirlooms."

1. George Washington. Enamel on copper, signed
" W. B. 1796." Mr. C. Allen Munn, New York.

2. George Washington. 3^ x 3. On copper.

Mr. Samuel P. Avery, 1909.

3. George Washington. Enamel.

Mrs. S. W. Edwards, 1881.

4. George Washington, 1796.

Mr. J. H. McHenry, Baltimore, 1881.

Although disfigured said to be a very fine example.

Birch — Continued: 12
11



5. George Washington, 1797. On copper.

Mr. C. G. Barney, Richmond, 1881.

6. George Washington. Enamel.

Mr. Lyle, Dublin, Ireland, 1881.

7. George Washington, 1796. Enamel. Engraved by
J. G. Walker.

8. George Washington, after Stuart.

Pennsylvania Academy, 1814.

9. Thomas Jefferson. Enamel, profile.

Dr. S. W. Mitchell, Pa., 1898.
Thomas Jefferson, profile. "Jefferson, G. Stuart,
Pinx. W. Birch delin. D. Edwin Sc. 1809." 1}4 x

1 Pi.

This may be identical with the foregoing.

10. Alexander Hamilton. Enamel.

Dr. S. W. Mitchell, Pa., 1898.

11. Lafayette. Enamel after Ary Scheffer.

Mr. Herbert L. Pratt

12. Commodore Decatur. Engraved by Edwin, 1813.

A l A x 4-

13. Andrew Jackson. Enamel. 1820.

1 4. Joseph Welsh. Enamel.

15. Clementina Ross. Enamel.

Mrs. C. S. Bradford, Pa., 1898.

16. Mrs. Barnes, nee Priscilla Birch. Enamel.

Mr. W. Birch, Pa., 1898.

17. Arthur Lee. 2^x2^. 1795.

Historical Society of Penn.

18. Portrait of a Lady. Enamel.

Hon. A. G. Ponsonby, England, 1865.

19. Mrs. Whittaker. Enamel brooch. 3x2^.

Mr. Albert Rosenthal.
Birch — Continued: 13



12



2o. Robert Gilmor. Enamel.

Mr. C. Allen Munn, New York.

BISHOP, Thomas

Flourished 1753-1833-, London , Paris and Philadelphia.

Miniature painter in enamel.

Thomas Bishop exhibited five miniatures at the Royal
Academy between 1787 and 1798. "In 1833," wrote
John Sartain in his "Reminiscences," 'I became
acquainted with Thomas Bishop the painter in enamel.
He was very old, a good deal past eighty.
He resided in Paris at the breaking out of the first
French Revolution in 1789. He had studied medicine,
and had also learned the art of painting in enamel while
there. . . As his life in Paris had been broken up by


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