Sunday, February 6, 2011

Older Women Painted By Charles Willson Peale

.While most of Charles Willson Peale's paintings of young mothers look radiant, some of his depictions of older women seem tired & even sad, unlike the strong older ladies painted by John Singleton Copley. Most wear older, comfortable clothing.

A very touching letter exits between artist John Greenwood, then in England, and John Singleton Copley still in Boston, about mothers growing old and wearing plain clothing. Greenwood wrote in 1770, that he would like Copley to paint a portrait of his mother and send it to Greenwood in London. "Portrait of my Hond. Mother, who resides at present nigh Marblehead, but is often in Boston, as I have of late enter'd into connections, that may probably keep me longer in London than I could wish, I am very desirous of seeing the good Lady's Face as she now appears, with old age creeping upon her...sitting in as natural a pose as possible...I shall observe that gravity is my choice of dress." I will include the Copley portrait of John Greenwood's mother, Mrs. Humphrey Devereux, at the end of this posting.

1769 Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). Anne Catherine Hoof (Mrs. Jonas Green).
1770 Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). Mrs. William Strachan of London Town, Maryland.
1770 Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). Margaret Triggs Matthews (1709-1791) (Mrs. Charles Willson Peale, the artist's mother).
1775 Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). Mrs. James Smith & grandson.
1775 Charles Willson Peale 1741-1827). Portrait of a Maryland Lady.
1783 Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). The Artist's Mother, Mrs. Charles Peale, and Her Grandchildren.

1788 Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). Sarah Bordley. Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey.

John Greenwood's Mother 1770 John Singleton Copley (1738-1815). Mary Charnock (Mrs. Humphrey Devereux, Mrs. Samuel Greenwood, Mrs. Joseph Prince)