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Portrait of Elizabeth Bowdoin and James Bowdoin III

Portrait of Elizabeth Bowdoin and James Bowdoin III
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1826.11

Artist

Joseph Blackburn

Title

Portrait of Elizabeth Bowdoin and James Bowdoin III

Creation Date

ca. 1760

Medium & Support

oil on canvas

Dimensions

36 7/8 in. x 58 1/16 in. (93.7 cm. x 147.4 cm.)

Commentary

18th century American painting

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn

Copyright

Public Domain
Blackburn was an English painter active in American only between 1754 and 1763. This charming double portrait depicts the children, aged probably ten and eight respectively, not as miniature adults but as young, spirited, and engaging individuals. Blackburn’s familiarity with English rococo painting is visible in the children’s costume as well as in the overall delicate palette and handling. The imagined landscape behind functions almost as an artificial theatrical backdrop; soon painters would devote themselves to rendering the beauty and vastness of the American landscape.
 
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