Provenance: Anthony Groves until 1848; rumored to have remained in the Groves Family for several generations; Anne F. Hufnagle of Philadelphia until 1981; Sold in 1981 by Freeman’s Auction House; Eleanor Tama Williams (descendant of Groves Family) until 2013
James Peale was an American painter, best known for his miniature and still life paintings, and a younger brother of noted painter Charles Willson Peale. Over his long career he also produced history, landscape, still life subjects, and full-size portraits.
Like many of the Peales, James enjoyed a long life and actively painted to the end. After failing eyesight caused him to leave miniature painting about 1812 he turned to large size portraits and then to landscapes and still lifes. His variety as an artist is extraordinary. A fine portraitist and one of the country's best miniaturists, he was also an excellent landscapist a generation before the beginnings of the Hudson River School and one of the founders of the still life tradition in America. Peale died in Philadelphia on May 24, 1831.
James painted this commissioned portrait of Anthony Groves, a prominent Philadelphia merchant. This piece, which draws into James’ interest in landscapes, was deemed a high style portrait, as is evidenced in the full background.
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