Portrait of Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe

ca. 1804

"During his first term as President, in March 1803, Thomas Jefferson appointed Benjamin Latrobe Surveyor of Public Buildings. It may have been in recognition of this honor that Latrobe's good friend Charles Willson Peale painted this portrait for his Philadelphia gallery of distinguished persons. . . . ". . . The Latrobe portrait is not listed in [the artist's] museum Accession Book, begun about [1804], so it was probably painted later that year or early in 1805. . . . ". . . The artist boldly blocked in the ear, and he deftly brushed in the curly hair, sometimes dragging a nearly dry brush in short arcs. The silver-rimmed spectacles pushed back into the hair are incompletely indicated, almost improvised. "The face is handsome, but the artist is concerned first with character and mind. It is a moody, introspective likeness, alive with intellect." (Kloss, William, et al. Art in the White House: A Nation's Pride. Washington, D.C.: The White House Historical Association, 2008.)


Charles Willson Peale [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Benjamin_latrobe_by_peale.jpg


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oil on canvas

Peale, Charles Willson (American painter, 1741-1827), “Portrait of Benjamin Henry Boneval Latrobe,” Classicizing Philadelphia, accessed January 23, 2019, http://classicizingphiladelphia.org/items/show/471.