Fine American amd European Paintings  - February 2015

Charles Peale Polk
(American, 1767-1822)
Portrait of Edgar Patterson
Oil on panel, 35 3/4 × 26 inches
Label on backing verso: "Corcoran Gallery of Art (printed & typewritten) Exhibition: ‘Charles Peale Polk: 1767–1822'/Dates: July 18, 1981–October 15, 1982/Artist: Charles Peale Polk/Title: Edgar Patterson/Catalogue No: 143/Lender: Private Collection"
Provenance: Edgar Moses Patterson until 1835; Harriet Patterson McCeney until 1887; Edgar Patterson McCeney until 1892; George Patterson McCeney until 1953; George Bowie McCeney until 1978; Sold by the estate of George Bowie McCeney in 1984; Purchased by a descendant of the McCeney Family
Exhibition: "Charles Peale Polk: 1767–1822", July 18, 1981–October 15, 1982, Catalogue No: 143, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C."

RS 6646

Born in 1767 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). 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 dry goods and shipping ventures, 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.

This portrait depicts Mr. Edgar Moses Patterson, a prominent businessman and merchant, as well as an officer, from Georgetown, in the District of Columbia and has descended through the Patterson family until its most recent ownership.

Patterson built a series of mills along the Potomac River, at Little Falls Bridge, just three miles from Washington. During the Revolutionary War, Patterson's gristmill was used in the heroic effort to save the Declaration of Independence and other prominent government documents.


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