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Portrait of David Baldwin

American Art

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Portrait of David Baldwin

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Ralph Earl
American, 1751–1801

Date

1790

Medium

Oil on canvas

Accession #

1985.221

Dimensions

56 3/4 x 61 7/8 inches

Location

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

Description

Ralph Earl’s portrait of David Baldwin, a prominent Connecticut merchant and civic leader, reveals his desire to be remembered as a wealthy, fashionable, and learned man. From his powdered wig to his buckled shoes, Baldwin appears in full command of his environment, confident of his place in the young American nation.

Earl absorbed British portrait tradition in London, where he lived during the Revolutionary War because of his Loyalist sympathies. Earl returned to America in 1785 to take advantage of the growing market for commissions that followed Independence.

Credit

Purchase in honor of Lawrence L. Gellerstedt, Jr., President of the Board of Directors, 1984–1986, with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable, 1985.221