|Description: ||Signed and dated at upper left: "By R. Street/1831"
Robert Street was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, the grandson of an English immigrant. Nothing is known about his activities until 1815, when he exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. During the early 1820s he exhibited four large biblical and subject scenes in Philadelphia and several other cities. Later that year he began to concentrate on portraiture. Street exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy until 1861, and was a member of the Artists' Fund Society. He also exhibited at the Apollo Association in New York in 1838 and 1839 and at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 1847 and 1851. He died in Philadelphia.
This pendant portrait (part of a pair), which descended directly through the sitters' family and retains its original frame, is an outstanding example of the artist's na´ve, linear style. Little is known about the sitters. Despite Street's imperfect command of perspective and anatomical draftsmanship such portraits possess great charm, which explains why he enjoyed steady patronage despite competition from more sophisticated painters such as Thomas Sully (1783-1872), John Neagle (1796-1865), and Jacob Eichholtz (1776-1842).
copyright © 2018 Schwarz Gallery