It’s time again for Artwork of the Week, and today’s artwork represents to me dozens of other artworks. Read on to find out about the Peale family artists.
The Artwork of the Week is The Peale Family by Charles Willson Peale, an American portrait painter from the revolutionary time period.
Charles Peale is famous for his portraits and his influence in the world of museums. He founded a natural history museum which eventually became the Philadelphia Museum.
He had was a lover of art and named 12 of his 17 children after artists and great thinkers. They are Raphaelle, Angelica Kauffmann, Rembrandt, Titian Ramsay (x2), Rubens, Sophonisba Augusciola, Rosalba Carriera, Vandyke, Charles Linnaeus, Benjamin Franklin, and Sybilla Miriam.
Not only were his kids named after artists, but many of his kids ended up becoming artists themselves. There’s a story of father Charles and son Rembrandt Peale painting a portrait of George Washington with man of the other children watching on and sketching and painting alongside their dad and brother. Gilbert Stuart (the painter who painted the Washington portrait that is on the dollar bill) said to Washington that he was being “Pealed all around!” (Source: MFA Boston).
These are the two portraits of Washington from the same sitting. You can tell Charles and Rembrandt were sitting in slightly different places!
If you want to see more of their work, check out this slideshow for works by Charles, Anna, James, Rembrandt, Rubens, Raphaelle, and Sarah.
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