EXQUISITELY BEAUTIFUL LARGE 1862 DATED PORTRAIT OF AN UNKNOWN UNION LIEUTENANT COLONEL

$2,500.00
Originally $5,000.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: L15593

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This fantastic painting is oil on canvas and meas. approx. 35.00 x 39.00 inches framed.

The subject is an unknown Union lieutenant colonel from the Philadelphia area. He wears a dark blue double-breasted frock coat with gold buttons and a white handkerchief tucked between the first and third buttons. The coat also has a high collar with a crisp white paper collar beneath and on his shoulders are double-bordered straps with the black rank field of a staff officer and the silver oak leaves of a lieutenant colonel.

Looking at the face of the subject one would have to say that he has a ruddy complexion, a wide forehead, long thin nose and large expressive eyes. His hair is brown but his side whiskers are red leading to a reddish-brown drooping mustache.

The frame and painting were recently cleaned by a professional, so all the colors are vivid. The frame is approx. 4.50 inches deep with a flat recessed center and a raised oval border around the image. The edges of the frame are expertly decorated with fine, long oak leaves with clamshell like corners. All are free of chips. The flat recessed panel, which acts as a mat for the painting, is lightly decorated with a scrollwork design. The entire frame is painted in gold gilt.

The reverse of the painting has an inscription bearing the artists name and the date. It reads “BY J. ATWOOD, JUNE 14, 1862.”

Not much is known about the life of the artist Jesse Atwood. He was active as an itinerant painter from about 1828. Atwood appears to have married in Rhode Island, where his wife Anna and their first child, George, were born, the latter about 1828. The family moved to Pennsylvania, where a daughter, Mary, was born c.1830. During the next decade Atwood is known to have worked at Deerfield, Massachusetts in 1832, at Richmond, Virginia in 1841, and at Philadelphia in 1841 and 1843. In 1847 he was at Monterey, Mexico, where he painted a portrait of Gen. Zachary Taylor. Enroute to Monterey he was in New Orleans and again on his way back he exhibited the finished portrait there for an entrance fee of 50 cents. On leaving New Orleans he planned to exhibit the painting in St. Louis, Missouri, Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Atwood was again in Philadelphia from 1849-54, where his wife owned real property valued at $6,000 in the 1850 Census.

Shortly before the election of 1860, Atwood painted a portrait of a clean-shaven Abraham Lincoln. A few days later, the newly elected president supposedly told his barber, “let’s give them (his whiskers) a chance to grow.” Without seeing him again in person, Atwood raced to add whiskers to his work, but ended up depicting the wrong style of beard.

Nothing is known of Jesse Atwood’s later life.  [ad][ph:L]

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