Inside: Learn more about Charles Willson Peale and his many artist children who were named after artists! The Peale family artists from the Revolutionary time period in America are talented and fascinating.
Today’s 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. The Peale family includes Raphaelle Peale, Angelica Kauffmann Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Titian Ramsay Peale (x2), Rubens Peale, Sophonisba Augusciola Peale, Rosalba Carriera Peale, Vandyke Peale, Charles Linnaeus Peale, Benjamin Franklin Peale, and Sybilla Miriam Peale.
Not only were his kids named after artists, but many of the Peale family ended up becoming artists themselves. There’s a story of father Charles Peale and son Rembrandt Peale painting a portrait of George Washington with many 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 Peale and Rembrandt Peale were sitting in slightly different places!
If you want to see more of their work, check out this slideshow of works by the Peale family: Charles Peale, Anna Peale, James Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Rubens Peale, Raphaelle Peale, and Sarah Peale.