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Inscription

lower right: A.B.D. 1853

Provenance

(Rose M. de Forest [Mrs. Augustus de Forest], New York); purchased 9 May 1922 by Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York;[1] his estate; sold as part of the Clarke collection 29 January 1936, through (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), to The A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1947 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1923
Exhibition of Portraits by Early American Portrait Painters, The Union League Club, New York, 1923, no. 17.
1928
Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928-1931, unnumbered and unpaginated catalogue.
1949
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1949.
1950
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1950.
1951
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1951.
1953
American Paintings from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1953.
1955
Famous Americans, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1955, no cat.
1967
Loan for display with permanent collection, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1967-1980.
1986
Extended loan for use by Ambassador Robie Marcus Hooker Palmer, U.S. Embassy residence, Budapest, Hungary, 1986-1990.
Bibliography
1853
"Fine Arts." Home Journal 2 (8 October 1853): 6.
1867
Tuckerman 1867, 188.
1887
Appleton's Cyclopedia of Biography Edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. 6 vols. New York, 1888: 2:268.
1928
Portraits by Early American Artists of the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Collected by Thomas B. Clarke. Exh. cat. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1928, unnumbered.
1930
Sherman 1930, 41; reprinted in Sherman, Frederic Fairchild, "Asher B. Durand as a Portrait Painter." Art in America 18 (October 1930): 316.
1966
Lawall, David B. "Asher Brown Durand: His Art and Art Theory in Relation to his Times." 4 vols. Ph.D. dissertation, Princeton University, 1966: 3:154-155.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 50, repro.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 146, repro.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 161, repro.
1996
Kelly, Franklin, with Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Deborah Chotner, and John Davis. American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 136-138, color repro.
1997
Fahlman, Betsy. John Ferguson Weir, Newark and London, 1997, p. 22, repro.
Technical Summary

The painting is on a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric support with a selvage along the bottom edge. It is attached to its original four-member, mortise-and-tenon stretcher and remains unlined. A colormen's stencil, "PREPARED/BY/EDWD DECHAUX/NEW YORK" and "27 x 34," appears once on the reverse. The ground is a thin, even, grayish white layer with a transparent, reddish brown imprimatura layer that is visible through some of the more thinly painted passages, as in the hair. The paint was applied with moderately thick blended brushstrokes in the flesh areas and the vest of the sitter, and in fairly thin, random brushstrokes in the coat and background. There are minor areas of inpainting in the hair and the left cheek of the sitter, and a toned varnish over the sitter's face and vest. The varnish is slightly yellowed.