Little is known about the life of Reuben Rowley, an itinerant miniature and portrait painter. Based upon the identification of the sitters in several portraits dating from the 1820s, he appears to have worked mainly in central New York State between circa 1825 and 1836. It has long been assumed that Rowley and an artist named Reuben Roulery, who is recorded as the teacher of the young painter Philip Hewins (1806-1850) in Albany in 1832, are one and the same. Rowley's name appears next from 1834 to 1838 in city directories of Boston, where he lived first at 11 and later at 9 Pearl Place. His work was exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum the first three years he was there; exhibition records show that in addition to portraits he painted at least two still lifes of fruit. He is also known to have painted miniature portraits.
Rathbone, Perry Townsend. "Itinerant Portraiture in New York and New England, 1820-1840." M.A. thesis. Harvard University, 1933.
Chotner, Deborah, with contributions by Julie Aronson, Sarah D. Cash, and Laurie Weitzenkorn. American Naive Paintings. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 327.