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Inscription

falsely signed, center left: Henry Pelham pinx

Provenance

(Rose M. [Mrs. Augustus] de Forest, New York); sold 15 August 1927 to Thomas B. Clarke [1848-1931], New York, as a portrait of John Cushing by Henry Pelham;[1] his estate; purchased through (M. Knoedler & Co., New York), as part of the Clarke collection, on 29 January 1936 by The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1954 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1928
A Loan Exhibition of Paintings by Early American Portrait Painters, The Century Association, New York, 1928, no. 17, as John Cushing by Henry Pelham.
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, as John Cushing by Henry Pelham.
Bibliography
1932
Sherman, Frederic Fairchild. Early American Painting. New York and London, 1932: 17.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 162, repro., as Portrait of a Man by American (?).
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 308, as Portrait of a Man by Unknown [Formerly Considered American].
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 414, repro., as Portrait of a Man by Unknown Nationality 18th Century.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 302-303, repro. 303.
Technical Summary

The canvas is finely plain woven; it has been lined. The ground is white. The
painting is executed in thin layers, with little modeling, and with very slight
impasto in the highlights. The paint surface is severely abraded, with
innumerable tiny losses and retouching throughout. The thick, natural resin
varnish has discolored yellow to a significant degree.