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    Sale 2095

    The Collection Of Marguerite And Arthur Riordan, Stonington, Connecticut

    18 January 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 549

    Attributed to John S. Blunt (1798-1835), Circa 1834-1835

    Willard Family Portrait (Frances Adeline Whitman Willard, Frances Adeline Willard, Henry Haskell Willard, Jr. and Henry Haskell Willard, Sr., miniature portrait)

    Price Realised  

    Attributed to John S. Blunt (1798-1835), Circa 1834-1835
    Willard Family Portrait (Frances Adeline Whitman Willard, Frances Adeline Willard, Henry Haskell Willard, Jr. and Henry Haskell Willard, Sr., miniature portrait)
    Oil on canvas
    51¾ x 64¼ inches (framed)


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    This family portrait exhibits many elements characteristic of the work of John Samuel Blunt. These features include realistically executed faces and highly detailed costumes combined with abstracted bodies and furniture.

    This group portrait depicts, from left to right, Frances Adeline Whitman Willard, her daughter Frances Adeline Willard, and her son, Henry Haskell Willard, Jr. The mother holds in her hand a portrait miniature of her husband, Henry Haskell Willard, who died on August 25, 1835 at the age of twenty-eight. While portrait painters often included deceased family members by representing them in miniature, it is important to note here that there is a strong possibility that Mr. Willard was alive when this portrait was painted. Blunt himself died at sea on September 12, 1835 - eighteen days later - while en route from New Orleans to Boston and most likely painted this portrait before Willard's death.

    The Boston City Directories from 1827 to 1835 list Henry H. Willard as a purveyor of dry goods, located at 287 Washington, with a house at 24 Leveret. After Henry's death in 1835, the directories show the family was living at 65 Chambers Street. After Henry's estate was settled after his death, Frances Adeline Whitman Willard inherited a total of $600. When Frances Adeline Willard married Herman Wells Green of Hopkinton, New Hampshire on February 20, 1854, she was also listed as "of Hopkinton," suggesting that she and her mother moved to Hopkinton between 1836 and 1854. Frances and Herman had a son, Willard Tibbets Green, and she died on March 2, 1873.

    Provenance

    Richard Withington, Inc., Hillsboro, New Hampshire


    Literature

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokens of Affection: The Portrait Miniature in America, (New York, 1991).


    Exhibited

    New York, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tokens of Affection: The Portrait Miniature in America, November 20, 1990 - February 10, 1991.