Jacob Eichholtz (1776-1842)

Jacob Eicholtz, Samuel Humes, c 1825 Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1959 Metropolitan Museum of Art 59.163 www.metmuseum.org

Jacob Eicholtz, Samuel Humes, c 1825
Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1959
Metropolitan Museum of Art 59.163

Pennsylvania artist Jacob Eichholtz has too long been hidden under the shadow of his famous friend Thomas Sully (1783-1872). The story and images of their young sons posed wearing a large torn hat, repeated here from a Philadelphia Free Library blog, expresses their inter-relationship:

Sully showed his appreciation of his friend’s work when in 1820 he closely imitated a ca. 1815 half-length oil portrait on wood panel Jacob had painted of his son Rubens Mayer Eichholtz.  No one was buying Sully’s paintings, and he was about ready to give up.  Deciding to paint in a more casual manner, he remembered Rubens’ portrait, and portrayed his own son Thomas Wilcocks Sully facing forward in a wide-brimmed straw just like Rubens. The Torn Hat painting is now very famous, and the remarkable similarities cannot be denied. Sully asked $100 for the work, twice as much as he charged for a painting of the same size, and sold it to John Hubbard, a Boston merchant and art collector.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts owns the largest collection of Jacob Eichholtz paintings (scroll down past the header.)  The Worlds of Jacob Eichholtz: Portrait Painter of the Early Republic by Thomas Ryan contains the best biography. 

Jacob Eichholtz, Elizabeth A. Brooke Weed (Mrs. Robert J. Arundel, c. 1828, Private Collection

Jacob Eichholtz (1776-1842), Elizabeth A. Brooke Weed (Mrs. Robert J. Arundel, c. 1828
(Formerly attributed to Thomas Sully [1783-1872])
Private Collection

Story Behind the Portrait: Elizabeth A. Brooke Weed (Mrs. Robert J. Arundel)

About Patricia Moss

Patricia Moss is an art historian, or art detective if you will, who solves mysteries of 19th century American portraits. She located nearly 70 of Bingham’s lost portraits, a feat acknowledged by the Smithsonian’s Research and Scholar’s Center. From expertise with portraits of George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879), she developed skills that evolved into a comprehensive system based on the scientific method that conforms to the legal and ethical standards of art authentication. Moss served as a guest curator for the Bingham Bicentennial Exhibit, “Steamboats to Steam Engines: George Caleb Bingham’s Missouri: 1819-1879,” (March 10-September 8, 2011) at the Truman Presidential Museum and curated the opening exhibition, “George Caleb Bingham: Witness to History,” (September 2013 –), Jackson County Art Museum, Independence, Missouri. She is also the principal researcher for Fine Art Investigations.
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