THE WORLD OF SAMUEL MEEKER, MERCHANT OF PHILADELPHIA, AND GILBERT STUART, AMERICAN PORTRAIT ARTIST

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ann Penington

Beauty and Charm Immortalized
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Ann Penington 1805 by Gilbert Stuart; Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, The Powel House; Bequest of Miss Frances Wister
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Her half sister married John Wister (see entries below on Catherine Wister Miles).
All is made more poignant as this young girl died soon after the painting was accomplished, of pulmonary tuberculosis.

From Barratt & Miles:
…Her father and his brother Edward Penington were partners in a sugar refinery in Philadelphia that was founded by her grandfather Edward, a prominent Quaker merchant. Glimpses of her life are found in her uncle Edward Penington’s record of theater visits in Philadelphia. “Nancy [as she was known] P.” went to the theater with her uncle Edward at least once in 1801 and in 1802, and in 1803 she joined her uncle’s theater parties several times. *

From Lawrence Park:
Daughter of Isaac and Sarah Penington of Bordentown, New Jersey. She died the year following the painting of her portrait, of consumption.
Bordentown, 1805. Canvas 32 x 28 inches. Seated, three-quarters left, in a gilded armchair covered with crimson brocade, with eyes to spectator, and wearing a black velevet gown. Her hair is auburn, and her eyes “red-hazel.” She holds a miniature in her hands, and through an open window one catches a pleasing glimpse of the Delaware river, a bit of landscape painting which shows what he might have accomplished had he turned his brush to landscape art. This picture is especially interesting as being one of the few known portraits by Stuart to which he affixed his name, “G. Stuart, Bordentown, 1805,” being painted beneath the window.


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* Further dates and names of plays which Ann attended are listed, taken originally from “Edward Penington’s Day Book, 1799-1806” in the collection of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
In Ann's will, her mother was designated as beneficiary to the estate, and upon her mother's death to her sister Elizabeth Wister, and her uncle Edward .....
It can also be noted here that regarding the Met Museum of Art book on the Stuart exhibition [2004-5] by Carrie Rebora Barratt and Ellen Miles (Gilbert Stuart), a team of researchers aided the authors considerably as they delved into the life, times, and works of the artist. It is a beautiful and excellent book, and I gratefully acknowedge the use of this source (as well as all others.) See my sources on the right hand side.
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Click on the image for a larger view, allowing the signature to be seen. It can be easily speculated that Stuart was well pleased with this work, perhaps that is why he signed it?
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4 comments:

Beth Ahrens-Kley said...
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Beth Ahrens-Kley said...
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emikk said...

This picture has the GS colors.

Hazel said...

Beth Hi,

It seems I can only leave comments with you from my son's computer. I guess he has a newer Outlook Express or some such thing.

I've been avidly following your blog. Your new compatriot David seems like a lovely guy.

Thanks for your comments on my site. Yeah, that's my sharp-dressed man alright.

Anna at Mit Herz und Hand would probably appreciate a message in German. She lived there for 2 years.

 
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