Description

    Rembrandt Peale Autograph Letter Signed twice, "R.P." and "Rembrandt Peale", 1 page, 4.5" x 7", Boston, December 17, 1859, addressed to W. T. Barker. In full, "Dear Sir / In regard to the autograph of Washington, I have but one - One was recently sold for $100 as I have heard. / Your &c / R.P. / W. T. Barker" Cover page with large dated full signature, "Rembrandt Peale / Boston. Dec:17, 1859." A souvenir presentation image of Peale's famous 'porthole' portrait of George Washington was added later below his signature. Fading and speckling to the portrait image along the vertical fold and light soiling, none of which affects the text or bold dark signatures. Near fine.
    One of 17 children of the most prominent painter of the Federalist period, Charles Wilson Peale, Rembrandt Peale was taught to paint by his father. In 1795 when Rembrandt was only seventeen years old, he painted a life portrait of George Washington, the first of many he would do of the first president. Almost thirty years later, Rembrandt reworked his life portrait into what he called his "Standard National Likeness" of George Washington, Patriae Pater [Father of His Country], which showcased Washington in a stonework oval or porthole. Within the porthole, Peale placed the portrait of Washington with a background of clouds and shadows, not just sky, which had the effect of placing Washington in eternity, or in Jefferson's words, "everlasting remembrance". In the 1850's, Rembrandt stated that his true calling in life was "to multiply the Countenance of Washington". By the time of his death in 1860, he had executed at least 75 replicas and several prints of Washington. Today, the version in the Senate is considered the masterpiece.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    3rd-4th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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