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Provenance

Christopher C. Yates [d. 1848], New York and Albany, by 1836.[1] James Ferguson [d. 1867], Albany and Washington, D.C., by 1860.[2] His wife, Amelia Ferguson, Washington, D.C. Horatio Bridge [d. 1893], Washington, D.C., and Athens, Pennsylvania, probably by 1868;[3] his wife, Charlotte M. Bridge [d. 1904], Athens, Pennsylvania; her grandniece, Marian Bridge Maurice, Athens, Pennsylvania;[4] gift 1950 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1860
Washington Art Association Annual, Washington, D.C., 1860, no. 11, as by G.[sic] W. Jarvis.
1950
American Processional, 1492-1900, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1950, no. 93.
1951
American Portraits from the National Gallery of Art, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 1951, no. 19 (organized by the Atlanta Art Association).
1951
They Gave us Freedom, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, 1951, no. 16.
1952
[Opening exhibition], Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1952, no. cat.
1952
Opening Exhibition of The George Thomas Hunter Gallery of Art, Chattanooga Art Association, Tennessee, 1952, unnumbered.
1955
Famous Americans, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1955, no cat.
1968
This New Man: A Discourse in Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 74.
1969
Art in Miniature [International Philatelic Exhibition in conjunction with San Diego's 200th Anniversary], San Diego Community Concourse; Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, 1969, no cat.
1975
"The Dye is Now Cast," The Road to American Independence, 1774-1776, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1975, no. 196.
1975
The Face of Liberty: Founders of the United States, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, 1975-1976, p. 236.
1980
Loan for display with permanent collection, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., 1980-2000.
2005
Tom Paine: Patriot and Provocateur, New York Historical Society, 2005, no cat.
Bibliography
1892
Conway, Moncure Daniel. The Life of Thomas Paine. 2 vols. New York, 1892.
1912
Van der Weyde, William M. "John Wesley Jarvis." Americana 7 (July 1912): 651-652, 654.
1912
Van der Weyde, William M. "Paine's Friend J.W. Jarvis." Truth Seeker (8 April 1912): 230.
1927
Harrington, John Walker. "John Wesley Jarvis, Portraitist." American Magazine of Art 18 (November 1927): 582.
1940
Dickson, Harold E. "John Wesley Jarvis, Knickerbocker Painter." New-York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin 24 (April 1940): 64.
1949
Bement, Alon. "Some Portraits of Thomas Paine." Antiques 56 (July 1949): 34.
1949
Dickson, Harold E. John Wesley Jarvis, American Painter, 1780-1840. New York, 1949: 89, 105-106, 116, 380, no. 387.
1950
Dickson, Harold E. "An Authentic Portrait of Thomas Paine." Antiques 57 (February 1950): 115, repro.
1950
Dickson, Harold E. "The Jarvis Portrait of Thomas Paine." New-York Historical Society Quarterly 34 (January 1950): 5-11, repro. 4.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 72, repro.
1972
Ketchum, Richard M. "Men of the Revolution-VII." American Heritage 23 (October 1972): 61.
1974
Hawke, David Freeman. Paine. New York, 1974: 389.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 182, repro.
1981
Williams, William James. A Heritage of American Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1981: 84, repro. 86.
1986
Zellman, Michael David, comp. American Art Analog. 3 vols. New York, 1986: 1:88, color repro.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 211, 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: 361-366, color repro.
Technical Summary

The support is a medium-weight, plain-weave, closely woven fabric that has been lined. The white ground, perhaps with an additional warm pink tone applied on top of it, is of a medium thickness and is smoothly laid down. Subsequent paint was broadly and discontinuously applied, allowing the ground to show through selectively, particularly in the shaded areas of the flesh. Impasto is minimal throughout. In 1951 the painting was relined, discolored varnish was removed, and the painting was restored. The varnish has become somewhat discolored, and small areas of inpainting are apparent across the entire surface.