Joseph Whiting Stock (1815-1855), 1841-1842
Joseph Whiting Stock (1815-1855), 1841-1842

Portrait of Martha Otis Bullock (Girl in a Blue Dress)

Joseph Whiting Stock (1815-1855), 1841-1842
Portrait of Martha Otis Bullock (Girl in a Blue Dress)
Oil on canvas
48 x 34½ inches
Descended in the Bullock family, Providence, Rhode Island
Joseph Whiting Stock, The paintings and the journal of Joseph Whiting Stock (Middletown, CT, 1976), p.75, cat. no. 44, pl. II:44.
Joseph Whiting Stock 1815-1855, Smith College Museum of Art (Northampton, Massachusetts, 1977), p. 32, cat. no. 31.
Northampton, Massachusetts, Smith College Museum of Art, Joseph Whiting Stock 1815-1855, February 4-March 20, 1977.
New York, New York, Berry Hill Galleries, Inc., American Beauty: The Rose in 19th Century American Folk Art, May 21-July 18, 1997.

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Lot Essay

The sitter of this portrait has long been believed to be Martha Randall, the wife Otis Bullock, Jr. of Warren, Rhode Island. Martha and Otis married on August 17, 1836 and their daughter, Martha Otis Bullock was born on May 8, 1837, just a few months before Martha senior passed away on August 23, 1837. In his seventy-three page Journal, in which he lists some nine hundred works, Joseph Whiting Stock mentions among the portraits he painted in Warren, Rhode Island between November 1, 1841 and the first months of 1842 the following: Dr. Otis Bullock's daughter 4. Under the circumstances of the mother's early passing, it can be concluded that the true identity of the sitter is Martha Otis Bullock. This portrait hung in the Bullock house on Benefit Street in Providence for many years.

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