The Pollard Limner, identified on the basis of his portrait of Ann Pollard, 1721, was active in the Boston area from around the last decade of the seventeenth century through the first third of the eighteenth century. So far some twenty paintings by this hand have been identified.
Stylistically, all of The Pollard Limner's portraits are related by certain distinctive characteristics, although some exhibit more technical sophistication than others. Half to three-quarter-length poses and oval formats dominate. While the painter's style is unquestionably provincial, the artist was probably a professional, aware of the English baroque tradition and conscious of the desire of his sitters to be portrayed as British aristocrats. [This is an edited version of the artist's biography published, or to be published, in the NGA Systematic Catalogue]
Flexner, James Thomas. American Painting: First Flowers of Our Wilderness. Boston, 1947: 46-51, 270, 285.
Di Curcio, Robert A. Art on Nantucket: The History of Painting on Nantucket Island. Nantucket, Massachusetts, 1982: 1-2, 22, 23, 26-27, 243.
Fairbanks, Jonathan, and Robert Trent. New England Begins: The Seventeenth Century. 3 vols. Exh. cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1982: 3:420-421, 475.
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: 287-288.