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Portrait of a Young Child

Artist/maker unknown, American

Made in United States, North and Central America

c. 1850

Oil on canvas

30 1/8 x 25 1/16 inches (76.5 x 63.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of the estate of Edgar W. and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, 1980

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Portraits of children became more popular during the first half of the nineteenth century, reflecting changing attitudes toward childhood. Because of high child mortality rates, many of the portraits were painted posthumously. Whether this example falls into that category is unknown as it contains none of the usual visual clues, such as drooping roses, morning glories, or boats sailing off into the distance. Because children of this period dressed alike until about the age of six, it is only the hairstyle-with its side part and little flip in the back-that identifies the subject as a boy.