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Rembrandt Peale Artist Rare Signed Autographed Letter 1852

$3,500.00

Antique Art Portrait Oil Paintings Fine Art 
Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860)

Celebrated American artist
Original Letter Mentioning his Famous George Washington Painting 

PSA Certified Authentic 

 

 

Extraordinary Signed letter from celebrated American artist Rembrandt Peale.   

In 1795, President George Washington agreed to pose for young seventeen-year-old artist Rembrandt Peale.  Let that sink in for a minute !...


Here is a handwritten letter where Rembrandt Peale mentions one of his  paintings of George Washington.   Although only a handful of letters have appeared on the market, this is the ONLY one I could find in the archives that mentions his most famous painting. Handwritten and Signed "Rembrandt Peale" and dated "October 23, 1852".    An extraordinary piece of American History for the Rare Autographs, Art, Artist, Washington, and/or Historical Document Collector.    PSA  Certified Authentic. 



  * See enlargeable images above and below. 
   (Note: George Washington image is only for presentation and Not included)

NOTE: We recently acquired Two Historical Letters from Rembrandt Peale where he mentions another famous painting. .  See the other below under, "Other Rare Treasures You May Like"

Letter from 1852 mentions a portrait of George Washington which he painted from life in 1795 when he was seventeen-years-old and Washington was sixty-four-years-old. This painting is currently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.    Full LOA from PSA/DNA..

Also included is a  1942 letter and mailer from a New York City art collector who references four paintings that Peale did of George Washington.

In 1795, the Philadelphia artist Charles Willson Peale persuaded President George Washington to pose for his seventeen-year-old son Rembrandt, who wanted to paint the president’s portrait. Upon learning that Rembrandt was joined in the painting room by his father, his brother Raphaelle, and his Uncle James (all artists), Gilbert Stuart quipped that the president was in danger of being “Pealed all around.”   He once stated that he had painted ten replicas, but only two are known—this example and one in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The son of portraitist Charles Willson Peale, Rembrandt Peale's natural talents had been developed by his father and honed from many hours of copying portraits in Charles Willson Peale's museum. Born on February 22, 1778, Rembrandt Peale shared his birthday with George Washington. His first encounter with George Washington took place on July of 1787.

Washington posed for Charles Willson Peale while in Philadelphia attending the Constitutional Convention. Relying on a long association, Peale approached Washington on his son's behalf in 1795, and the President agreed to three sittings of three hours each, from seven to ten in the morning.

By the time Washington arrived for the first sitting, it was agreed that Charles Willson Peale would provide a reassuring presence, sparing Rembrandt the need to talk and paint at the same time. Rembrandt Peale's life study revealed an aging George Washington of sixty-three whose firmly set mouth and skeptical eyes gave his expression a somewhat dour cast. The young artist succeeded in capturing the grandeur of his subject; the force of the gaze and the line of the jaw hint at the determination and the sheer physical presence of Washington. After the third and final sitting with Washington in 1795, Rembrandt Peale hurried off to Charleston, South Carolina, where he made at least ten copies of his portrait.

For years Peale was haunted by his desire to present an inspiring, grandiose image of Washington. Peale knew that the man he had painted in 1795, worn down by the presidency was no longer the commanding presence of the years of the Revolution. Peale was determined to create a likeness of Washington that would transcend representational accuracy, to convey the heroic qualities that Washington produced in the minds of many Americans. It was this ideal Washington that Peale felt he had fallen short of in each new portrait he attempted. Peale's family began to believe him obsessed, perhaps dangerously so and his father told him bluntly that the task was impossible.

Nevertheless, in 1823 Peale decided to make one last effort. Peale was inspired by many different sources, including the works of his father and the bust portrait by Jean-Antoine Houdon. What Peale created, however, was something quite different, an image of Washington that was as much icon as likeness. Peale painted Washington in bust pose, facing left and framed by the massive stone oval that gave rise to the title "Porthole" portrait. Beyond the subject's head and shoulders drifted the clouds of some republican Olympus.

For weeks following the completion of the portrait, Peale's studio was crowded with hundreds of visitors eager for a glimpse of what was already said to be a remarkably faithful likeness of George Washington. The artist himself was anxious to solicit the opinions of men who had actually known Washington and soon collected a series of glowing endorsements that he later copied into his memoir, including from Washington's nephew Bushrod Washington and Chief Justice John Marshall. In 1832, Peale sold the original Porthole portrait to Congress for the rather significant sum of two thousand dollars. It still hangs today in the old Senate Chamber of the United States Capitol. 

In reality many believe Rembrandt's original portrait when he was 17 was actually the best ever created as it captured a remarkable realistic, older, tired Washington
with signs of aging that Rembrandt did not overlook, as he too young to realize it was probably important to flatter the President and make him look a little better then he actually was, as other Washington artists most likely did. 

Guaranteed Authentic for Life
Conway's Vintage Treasures
UACC Registered Dealer No 307


Note: Cvtreasures stamp NOT on original.



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