Portraits, Captain and Mrs. William Cleveland, Oil on Panel
By Zedikiah Belknap (1781 to 1858)
Evident is Belknap's signature style; bright colors, detail of costume and hairstyle; the dark outlines, full mouths; sharply outlined eyes and flat ears painted on prepared panels scored with diagonal lines simulating canvas twill and the reverse prepared with a gray wash are typical of the artist's style. - SOLD
Captain William Cleveland, who sailed out of Salem married Mary Hiller of Salem in 1805. She died in 1815 and he then married her sister Lucy Hiller in 1816. The mother of the two women was Margaret Cleveland Hiller who was the aunt of William Cleveland, thus both women were his first cousins.
Like many Salem captains, Cleveland was involved in the China trade. During an 1828 - 1829 voyage to China, the East Indies, and Timor, Lucy and his son James sailed with him. After returning home, Lucy wrote a children's book, The Adventures of Willson Avery, adapted from a sketchbook and journal she made on the voyage. In all she authored over a dozen children's books, some with abolitionist themes. Lucy Hiller Cleveland was involved in a number of reform and charitable movements. To help raise funds she created a number of vignettes populated with hand made figures and furnishings. On one occasion she received a special certificate from the Mechanics' Literary Association of Rochester, NY for the best "Specimen of Figures of Rags." Lucy Cleveland was perhaps best described by a granddaughter who wrote that she was "a brilliant woman of her time" See: Magazine Antiques, August 2000, Page 204, Lucy Cleveland Folk Artist by Paula Richter. In fine original condition these works with a view area of 19 3/8 by 26-inches measure 26.75 by 33-inches overall.