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)
The youngest of his children, twins Michael Angelo (1814-1833) and Emma Clara (1814-1882)
His brother, Rubens (1784-1865)
Another portrait of his daughter and trusted assistant, Rosalba,
His second wife, Harriet Christina Cany (1799 – 1869)