Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Portrait of Elizabeth Bowdoin and James Bowdoin III



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Portrait of Elizabeth Bowdoin and James Bowdoin III
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1826.11
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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.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn

Accession Number

1826.11

Copyright

Public Domain

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When Blackburn passed through Boston sometime around 1760, the Bowdoin family already owned portraits by Joseph Badger, Robert Feke, and others. Nevertheless, James Bowdoin II lost no time in securing Blackburn’s talents to depict young James III and his sister Elizabeth. The result is this unusual double portrait, which is at once a charming portrayal of children and an assertively up-to-date statement of their importance as the rising generation of one of New England’s most prominent families. Indeed, Blackburn subtly alludes to the family’s crest, which includes three birds, through the bird held by the James III and the two in his cap.
 
Keywords: portraits   girl   boy   Portrait   feather   colonial   child   bird   fruit  


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