Details

Title

Portrait of Mrs. Morse and Two Children

Artist/Maker

Samuel F. B. Morse (American, 1791–1872)

Date

1824

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

43 1/4 x 34 inches

Credit

Gift of Sandra Morse Hamilton and Patricia Morse Sawyer in memory of Bleecker, Patricia, and Bleecker Morse, Jr., and through prior gift of Margaret and John L. Hoffman.

Accession #

2004.58

On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 307

Samuel Morse is chiefly remembered as an inventor, specifically for the development of the telegraph. In the early 1800s, however, he was regarded as New York’s leading portrait painter. This tender, elegant image of his wife and children resonates with both private and public meaning. A celebration of domestic relations, it belongs to a genre of portraiture that first became popular during the mid-1700s, Age of Enlightenment. These portraits gave new emphasis to the maternal role and revealed the changing ideas about family life promoted by such thinkers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

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