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Miniature portraits by James Sanford Ellsworth, Buckland, Mass., circa 1830-1850
TitleMiniature portraits by James Sanford Ellsworth, Buckland, Mass., circa 1830-1850
Full Size Image
SubjectEllsworth, James Sanford, ca. 1802-ca. 1874; Portrait miniatures; Miniature painting; Buckland, (Mass.)
DescriptionCirca 1830-1850 miniature portraits of an unidentified man and woman, in watercolor on paper, attributed to artist James Sanford Ellsworth (ca. 1802-ca. 1874). The framed work measures an overall 6-1/4 inches wide by 4 inches high. The image shows Ellsworth's signature clouds, also referred to as halos, behind the heads of his sitters. This feature is characteristic in his works, as is the stiff upright position of his subjects, their folded arms and hands, and the colorful chairs in which they are seated. In her 1953 article, James Sanford Ellsworth American Miniature Painter, Lucy B. Mitchell describes Sanford's subjects, They are prim and stiff and reveal little or no humor, but plenty of the 'character' associated with the rugged New England which was their home. This article was published in Art in America, Vol. 41, Springfield, Mass., a copy of which is part of the Buckland Historical Society's holdings. In the same Mitchell article is a listing of miniatures signed or attributed to Ellsworth, along with the geographical location in which they were painted. The list includes Elijah Shaw and his wife Hannah Cook Shaw, which was painted in Buckland, Mass. about 1838, and the Wilsons of neighboring Colrain, Mass., painted about 1840. Ellsworth traveled up and down the Connecticut River Valley, from Vermont to the shores of Connecticut, painting every day individuals, rather than members of the wealthier higher society. Many of his subjects are known to have been farmers and individuals who led simple, hard working lives. His pieces have been located in each of the New England states, as well as in New York.
CreatorEllsworth, James Sanford, ca. 1802-ca. 1874
SourceFramed miniature portraits, 4 x 6-1/4 inches
RelationFrom the collections of the Buckland Historical Society, Inc., P.O. Box 88, Buckland, MA, 01338,
Coverage42.60 N, 72.77 W
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