Miniature of Gentleman in Black in Armchair, by Ellsworth

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Description

NLS011422.5

Miniature portrait of a gentleman wearing a black jacket and sitting in a red and gold armchair.

Signed on the backboard by the artist, James Sanford Ellsworth (1802-1874) of Connecticut, 1825 – 1850.

Watercolor on paper.

Held in the original mahogany veneer frame.

This fine watercolor portrait of a gentleman wearing a black jacket and sitting in a red and gold armchair is attributed to James Sanford Ellsworth (1802-1874) of Connecticut. Widely travelled as an itinerant artist, Ellsworth’s work is found throughout Connecticut and into Rhode Island, Western Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire and around Albany, New York.  He is a well-documented artist and signed a select group of his miniature portraits. Ellsworth’s work can be identified by his distinctive style that included detailed faces and clothing, as well as Classical chairs or figures that seem to float on puffy gray clouds.  This fine portrait is closely related to several portraits created by Ellsworth, including the portrait of “Man of the Stiles Family of Windsor, Connecticut” illustrated in “James S. Ellsworth, Portrait Painter” by Lucy B. Mitchell, Catalogue 31, pages 28 and 29.  Both portraits share the use of Ellsworth’s chair style #1, discussed by Mitchell on page 9, and particularly crisp delineation of both the features of the figure, the bold cloud forms and the red and gold Classical armchair.  The “Man of the Stiles Family” was in the collection of Edgar and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch when illustrated by Mitchell and is now in the collection of The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, Object #75.10.4.