Woman Tuning a Mandolin

Artist

John Gadsby Chapman (American 1808–1889)

Date

about 1830

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

12 1/2 x 11 1/4 in. (31.8 x 28.6 cm)

Description
Chapman was a versatile artist, best known for his elaborately decorated Harper’s Illuminated Bible (1846) and his large historical painting The Baptism of Pocahontas (1837) in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Like many artists, Chapman supplemented his income by painting portraits and making copies of famous Old Master paintings, such as seen in this remarkably accurate copy of a seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting. Such scenes of everyday life were first made popular in Holland and enjoyed a tremendous revival in the United States in the antebellum period. The subject of the Athenæum’s painting charms the viewer with its focus on the sometimes fine line between childhood and adulthood. Here, the woman attempts to tune her instrument, but is helplessly distracted by the boy’s antics.
Credit Line

Athenæum purchase, 1832

Object Number

UR64

The Musician

Artist

John Gadsby Chapman (American 1808–1889)

Date

about 1830

Medium

Oil on panel

Dimensions

9 9/16 x 7 5/8 in. (24.3 x 19.3 cm)

Description

man in fur-trimmed hat & jacket, playing stringed instrument with bow; seated on wooden chair at left, ceramic jug on floor far left; small table with paper & vessel at far right; blank background;

Inscription

Inscribed on reverse: FROM A PICTURE AT NAPLES/BY THE ELDER TENIERS/JC

Credit Line

Athenæum purchase, 1832

Object Number

UR59

Horatio Greenough

Artist

John Gadsby Chapman (American 1808–1889)

Date

1830–1831

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

28 1/4 x 23 3/8 in. (71.8 x 59.3 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of the artist, 1832

Object Number

UR43

Shepherds

Artist

John Gadsby Chapman (American 1808–1889)

Date

1850s

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Other: 61 × 91.4 cm (24 × 36 in.)

Credit Line

Athenæum purchase, 2014

Object Number

UR353

Scenery Found

Artist

John Gadsby Chapman (American 1808–1889)

Date

about 1830

Medium

Oil on wood palette

Dimensions

9 1/4 x 13 in. (23.5 x 33 cm)

Description

On a small wood palette, landscape with presumed self-portrait of the artist seated on camp stool with umbrella, holding palette & brush, turning to his right & reaching with brush toward canvas on an easel; at right, in the bushes, a donkey; at left, foliage.

Credit Line

Athenæum purchase, 2004

Object Number

UR310