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Name: Charles Peale Polk
Dates: (1767 - 1822)
Nationality: American
Biography: Born in Annapolis, Maryland, Charles Peale Polk was the son of Elizabeth D. Peale and Robert Polk. After the death of his mother around 1773, he moved to Philadelphia to live with his mother's brother, the artist Charles Willson Peale (1741 1827). When Polk's father died in the American Revolution in 1777, Peale and his wife acted as his foster parents. Polk received his artistic training from his uncle, and by the time he was eighteen, he was a professional portraitist. From 1791 to 1796 Polk lived in Baltimore, where he pursued business ventures in dry goods and shipping, both of which failed. He did, however, continue to paint. More than thirty five portraits, many of them signed and dated, are known from Polk's time in Baltimore, the largest number he painted in any city. Polk moved to Washington in 1801, intent on obtaining a government appointment. Although he did secure a clerkship in the Department of the Treasury, his financial problems persisted, and he was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1804 and again in 1812. Reference: Linda Crocker Simmons, Charles Peale Polk, 1776 1822: A Limner and his Likenesses [exh. cat., Corcoran Gallery of Art] (Washington, D.C., 1981).

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Other works: Charles Peale Polk (Edgar Patterson, Portrait of)
Edgar Patterson, Portrait of

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