Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860): Portraits of his family

American Portrait Artist

Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, c 1846,
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York 54.15.1

Today, 236 years ago, Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860) was born.  Portraits associated with his name number 645, according to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Catalog of American Portraits.  Over 50 portrayed George Washington and 20, Martha Washington, both of whom he could boast, he had seen in life; his were the most accurate representations.  When he turned his hand to paint his family, his portraits lost their sometimes cookie cutter precision to yield touching beauty, even with the sometimes cloying romanticism of the time.  On his birthday, his family would have surrounded him.  Here are some of the likenesses he painted of them.

 

 

His daughters Eleanor (1805-1877) and Rosalba (1799-1874) 

American Portrait Artist

Rembrandt Peale, The Sisters (his daughters Eleanor and Rosalba Peale), 1826
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, 67.205.3

The youngest of his children, twins Michael Angelo (1814-1833) and Emma Clara (1814-1882)

American portrait artist

Rembrandt Peale, Michael Angelo and Emma Clara Peale, c 1826
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York, New York

His brother, Rubens (1784-1865)

Rembrandt Peale, Rubens Peale with a Geranium, 1801 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC 1985.59.1

Rembrandt Peale, Rubens Peale with a Geranium, 1801
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
1985.59.1

Another portrait of his daughter and trusted assistant, Rosalba,

American Portrait Artist

Rembrandt Peale, Rosalba Peale, 1820, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC 1986.65.109 005

His second wife, Harriet Christina Cany (1799 – 1869)

American Portrait Artist

Rembrant Peale, Portrait of a Lady (Harriet Cany Peale), c 1840
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia

 

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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