Clarissa Seymour (later Mrs. Truman Marsh)
Ralph Earl depicted Clarissa Seymour seated elegantly before an expansive landscape backdrop. A Loyalist, Ralph Earl fled to London shortly after the War of Independence. There he learned the conventions of the English Grand Manner style, including an idealized representation of the sitter and an ornate setting. This portrait was created after Earl returned (in 1785) to America, during his most prolific period as a portraitist to the gentry in rural Connecticut. Earl’s style became increasingly rigid as he satisfied his American patrons’ desire for greater attention to detail. Here the meticulous description of Seymour’s luxurious European garment emphasizes her ability to acquire expensive European textiles, and hence her wealth and social status.
- Artist: Ralph Earl, American, 1751-1801
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dates: 1789
- Dimensions: 47 9/16 x 35 15/16 in. (120.8 x 91.3 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed left center: "R.Earl Pinxt 1789"
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, American Landscape/Colony to Nation, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 48.8
- Credit Line: Museum Collection Fund
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Ralph Earl (American, 1751-1801). Clarissa Seymour (later Mrs. Truman Marsh), 1789. Oil on canvas, 47 9/16 x 35 15/16 in. (120.8 x 91.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 48.8
- Record Completeness: Best (83%)