Mrs. Benjamin Harrison (Elizabeth Page) (Primary Title)

Charles Willson Peale, American, 1741 - 1827 (Artist)

1775
American
oil on canvas
Framed: 52 × 42 1/2 × 1 1/4 in. (132.08 × 107.95 × 3.18 cm)
86.170
This work suggests the role of colonial portraiture among Virginia’s landed gentry. Elizabeth Page, of Roswell plantation in Gloucester County, became the second wife of Benjamin Harrison, owner of Brandon, his estate on the James River. Maryland-born Peale – the first American artist to seek training with Benjamin West in London – painted the couple during his trip to Virginia in the spring of 1775 (Mr. Harrison’s portrait is owned by Colonial Williamsburg). The elegant depiction of Mrs. Harrison employs European conventions to suggest the sitter’s aristocratic sophistication. Yet her regional identity is also emphasized through the characteristic Tidewater setting – a “Virginia rail” fence and lowland field.
Signed lower center right: "C W Peale / pinxt 1775"
Gift of Mrs. Douglas Crocker
Loan Exhibition of Portraits by Charles Willson Peale, Rembrandt Peale, and James Peale. Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, (11 April - 9 May 1923) no. 23.
Charles Coleman Sellers, "Portraits and Miniatures by Charles WIllson Peale," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, vol. XLII, part 1 (1952): no. 366.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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