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Re: charles wilson peale

From: b. schasfoort (b.schasfoort)
Date: Fri Apr 21 2000 - 05:57:08 PDT

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    Charles Willson Peale, American, 1714-1827
    Portrait of John and Elisabeth Lloyd Cadwalader and their daughter Anne,
    Like Thomas Eakins,Charles Willson Peale is inextricably linked with
    Philadelphia, yet the young artist was living in his native Maryland in 1770
    when John Cadwalader's commission for family portraits allowed him to test
    the market for his talents in the city. Cadwalader's order for Eve large
    portraits in elaborately carved and gilded frames, to be hung in the house
    on Second Street that he was renovating and furnishing in grand style, was
    unique in colonialAmerica, and Peale rose to the occasion, applying all he
    had learned about stylish portraiture from Benjamin West in London. This
    portrait of the Cadwalader family is clearly the centerpiece of the group,
    and the artist has detailed the gold embroidery on Cadwalader's waistcoat,
    Elizabeth Cadwalader's large jeweled earring, and the serpentine-front card
    table-part of an outstanding suite of American Rococo furniture (see
    opposite)-to express the young couple's affluence and taste. The affection
    and pleasure of family life that animate the scene are unique to Peale in
    eighteenth-centuryAmerican painting, and reflect the artist's profoundest
    feelings about his own growing family.

     Staircase Group (Portrait of Raphaella Peale and Titian Ramsey Peale),
     By the time that Charles Willson Peale painted the Staircase Group, he had
    abandoned commercial portraiture to devote himself to natural science and to
    his museum and zoo at Philosophical Hall. To help foster the arts in
    Philadelphia however, he was instrumental in founding the Columbianum, an
    artists' association modeled on the Royal Academy in London. For its first
    and only exhibition, Peale executed this painting to demonstrate that he
    remained one of the city's preeminent artists. On an unusually large canvas,
    he made one of his rare full-length portraits, showing two of his sons on an
    enclosed spiral staircase. Its high degree of detail and finish shows that
    the painting was clearly intended to be a trompe l'oeil "deception," an
    effect that Peale never attempted elsewhere. To enhance the illusion, he
    installed the painting within a doorframe in his studio, with a real step in
    front. Rembrandt Peale, another son, recalled that his father's friend
    George Washington, misled by Peale's artifice, tipped his hat and greeted
    the two young men as he walked by.

    Some texts, scanned from the Handbook of the Collections from the
    Philadelphia Museum of Art. I even found the grave of CW Peale in the
    Churchyard of the St Peter and made a picture (and a drawing from this
    really interesting churchyard).

    Ben Schasfoort, Netherlands

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <Rdunkelart>
    To: ArtsEdNet Talk <artsednet>
    Sent: Friday, April 21, 2000 5:02 AM
    Subject: charles wilson peale

    > Has anyone out there done any research on Charles Wilson Peale. He was
    > anthropologist and artist with an eccentric family full of artists - early
    > l800's. A neice was Anna Claypoole Peale - as a Claypool decendent I am
    > wondering about the
    > Claypoole tie in. Thanks Roberta
    > ---


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