Condition: Frame and stretcher appear to be original, very minor fill
Additional Information: Ex-Cone-Ansbacher Collection
Exhibited (loaned) The Museum of the City of New York in 1938 (label verso.)
Inventories of American painting and Sculpture, Smithsonian American Art
Museum, Washington, D.C., Control Number: 71771536
Family dossier available; important New York family…business, politics, and military.
Colonial portrait painter Joseph Blackburn was likely born in Great Britain; parentage
and details of his early life are unknown. The earliest record of Blackburn as a painter is
his arrival in Bermuda in 1752. During his two-year stay there he painted at least
Blackburn's whereabouts after leaving Bermuda for the American colonies on the
mainland are well documented; he signed and dated more than half of the more than
one hundred portraits by him that survive. He apparently arrived in Newport, Rhode
Island, in 1754, then continued northward to Boston, where he spent the next few years.
Blackburn found little competition upon his arrival in Boston. John Smibert had died in
1751, Robert Feke had ceased painting there by 1752, and John Greenwood had gone
to Surinam. Only three artists remained: Joseph Badger, Nathaniel Smibert, and John
Singleton Copley [Blackburn’s pupil]. Blackburn quickly capitalized on this artistic
vacuum. Bostonians embraced him enthusiastically and over the next five years
painted several dozen portraits for many leading Boston families.
Jennys advertised in 1792 as a portrait painter in Norwich, Connecticut; he was active mid-1790s throughout the Connecticut River Valley and New York. He settled in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1804, where he was most productive and financially successful; after 1817 he moved to Littleton, New Hampshire.
(The painting was long ago relined and mounted within a period frame displaying a wonderful surface. Frame: 29.5 by 34"; view: 24 by 29")
Literature: William Lamson Warren, "The Jenny's Portraits," in the Connecticut Historical Society BULLETIN, volume 20 (Hartford, October 1955), number 4, pp. 97-128. See the illustration for figure 10; page 104, "Unidentified Portrait," on page 128 appears this further note: "UNIDENTIFIED PORTRAIT. The subject of this portrait is said to be Thomas Seymour (1735-1829), first Mayor of Hartford. Portrait attributed to William Jenny's. (25 by 29 inches. [Figure 10]. Relined, modern stretchers. Lent by Dr. and Mrs. Robert Mallory III, Rye, N.Y."
Exhibited: "Richard and William Jennys Exhibition, November 1955 through January 1956; the Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Conn." (See page 122.)
Oil on canvas, frame: 26 by 29.75"; view: 19.25 by 23", modern gilt frame, original stretcher; lined, retouch, patch reinforcement, craquelure.
121-192 - SOLD
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