Identified as Gouverneur Morris

Artist/maker unknown, French?

Geography:
Possibly made in United States, North and Central America

Date:
c. 1805-10

Medium:
Watercolor on ivory

Dimensions:
2 5/8 x 2 3/16 inches (6.7 x 5.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
2000-137-20

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shanis and Mr. and Mrs. Harris Stern in memory of Jeannette Stern Whitebook Lasker, 2000

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Label:
It has been suggested that the sitter is a member of the Morris family, possibly Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816), a delegate to the Continental Congress who helped to draft the Constitution and subsequently served as foreign minister to France and a New York State Senator. He wears a small miniature pinned to his chest.

Additional information:
  • PublicationGifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Worn as pendants and bracelets, carried within a pocket, or hung in a cabinet, portrait miniatures were prized for their likenesses of family members, friends, and loved ones as well as for their minute size, precious materials, and skillful execution. The anniversary gift of a remarkable group of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century miniatures assembled by Jeannette B. S. Whitebook Lasker forms a prominent addition to the Museum’s collection, contributing works in innovative and challenging techniques by leading artists.

    In the American republic, prominent citizens of Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore commissioned miniatures from itinerant artists. Gouverneur Morris, a member of the Continental Congress and later a senator from New York, sat for his portrait by a foreign-born, possibly French, artist. Presented in the fashionable clothes and hairstyle of the early nineteenth century, he wears a miniature, perhaps depicting his wife, pinned to his chest. Jennifer Thompson, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary (2002), p. 68.