Thursday, January 13, 2011

Paintings Joseph Badger

We have already seen several of Joseph Badger's earlier portraits on this blog. Joseph Badger was born on March 14, 1707/8, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the 6th of 9 children of Mercy Kettell and her husband Stephen Badger, a tailor. Joseph Badger died in Boston on May 11, 1765.

Badger began his career as a house painter and glazier and moved his growing family to Boston in 1733. It is not clear how he evolved into portrait painting, but he probably used a few imported English prints as sources for his compositions, although his poses and formats are similar.

In Boston, Badger lived in the same neighborhood with Scottish-born portriatist John Smibert (1688–1751), who had emigrated from London in 1728, and John Singleton Copley's stepfather, London artist and engraver Peter Pelham ( (1695-1751), who had arrived in Boston a few years earlier than Smibert. And of course, as you have already guessed, both artists sold prints out of their shops introducing poses and costumes from English mezzotints in the baroque depictions of Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723) and Peter Lely (1618–1680) and in the updated rococo style of Thomas Hudson (1701–1779) to local artists and townsfolk.

Artist Thomas Johnston (1708–1767), who painted portraits, furniture & coats of arms; engraved maps, music, bookplates, & clock faces; and even cut gravestones, also lived nearby. Johnston trained artist John Greenwood (1727–1792), who was his Boston apprentice from 1741 to 1745.

Additionally, Badger would have known artist Robert Feke (c 1708–1751) and Joseph Blackburn (fl 1754–1763), who arrived in Boston around 1754, just after Copley's stepfather died.

Apparently paint ran through the Badger family veins. Two of Badger's sons moved to Charleston after his death, advertising themselves as painters in the South-Carolina Gazette, in Charleston, December 8, 1766. A Daniel Badger, perhaps related to Joseph, had advertised himself as a painter in the same newspaper on December 6, 1735, just 2 years after Joseph Badger had settled in Boston.

Here are a few of Joseph Badger's paintings of women from 1750 through the 1760s.


1750 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Anna Porter (Mrs. Nathaniel Brown). San Francisco Fine Art Museum. (Reproduction at 1st-art-gallery.com. Contact the museum for an accurate image.)

1755 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Eleanor Wyer (Mrs. Isaac Foster). National Gallery of Art. (Reproduction at encore-editions.com. Contact the National Gallery for an accurate image.)
1758 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Hannah Minnot (Mrs. Samuel Moody ). New Britain Museum of Art, Connecticut. (This depiction is from a lecture slide. Do not copy or reproduce. Contact the museum for an accurate image.)
1759 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Hannah Upham (Mrs. John Haskins). Brooklyn Museum. (This depiction is from a lecture slide. Do not copy or reproduce. Contact the museum for an accurate image.)

1760 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Mrs. Thomas Shippard. (Reproduction at oceansbridge.com.)
1760 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Sarah Larrabee Edes. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (This depiction is from a lecture slide. Do not copy or reproduce. Contact the museum for an accurate image.)

1763 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Mary Croswell. Minneapolis Institute of Art. (This depiction is from a lecture slide. Do not copy or reproduce. Contact the museum for an accurate image.)


1760-65 Joseph Badger (1708-1765). Sarah Badger Noyes. Dallas Museum of Art. (Reproduction at popartmachine.com. Contact the museum for an accurate image.)












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