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Inscription

lower right: 1755; on reverse of the original canvas: William;Foster; / Eldest Son of;Isaac And Eleanor;Foster; / Was; Born; May; Ye 27th, 1733; And Died; / December Ye 4th, 1759; Aged; 26; Years And, / Six Months; His Character in The / Advertiser By An Unknown Hand; / Doctor; William; Foster; / Was A young Gentleman Possessed of Every / Virtue That Adorns The Social Life; / Religious, Without Ostentation; / Conscientious Without Affectation; / And Sincere Without Hypocrisy; Was / Universally Beloved By All That Had The / Pleasure of His Acquaintance; / And Whose Death is As Universally Lamented;

Provenance

Mrs. Philip Peck, Walpole, New Hampshire;[1] Dr. Thomas Bellows Buffum, Walpole, New Hampshire;[2] Annie Buffum Williams [Mrs. Nathan W. Williams], Northampton, Massachusetts, 1943.[3] Purchased before 16 May 1949 by Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch;[4] gift 1957 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1972
Loan for display with permanent collection, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, 1972-1974.
Bibliography
1873
Perkins, Augustus Thorndike. A Sketch of the Life and a List of some of the Works of John Singleton Copley. Boston, 1873: 125-126.
1915
Bayley, Frank W. The Life and Works of John Singleton Copley. Boston, 1915: 109.
1918
Park 1918, 16.
1938
Parker, Barbara N., and Anne Bolling Wheeler. John Singleton Copley: American Portraits in Oil, Pastel, and Miniature with Biographical Sketches. Boston, 1938: 253, as by Badger.
1942
Historical Records Survey. "Preliminary Checklist of American Portraits 1620-1860 Found in New Hampshire." Boston, 1942: 9.
1965
Shipton, Clifford K. Biographical Sketches of Those who Attended Harvard College in the Classes 1751-1755, with biographical and other Notes (Sibley's Harvard Graduates 13, 1751-1755). Boston, 1965: 230, repro. opp.
1970
American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 14, repro.
1972
Nylander, Richard C. "Joseph Badger, American Portrait Painter." Master's thesis, State University of New York at Oneonta, 1972: 55.
1980
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 23, repro.
1992
American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 24, repro.
1995
Miles, Ellen G. American Paintings of the Eighteenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1995: 9-10, repro. 8.