Samuel Finley Breese Morse
On View: Screens facing Great Hall
Samuel F.B. Morse was at the peak of his career when he portrayed Jonas Platt, who is presented as a soberly dressed man of affairs, with book and documents nearby, facing us in a confident yet thoughtful manner. The drapery and glimpse of sky are scaled-down elements drawn from grandmanner portraiture and signal Platt's prominence.
The sitter and artist were both active in politics and concerned with the application of scientific and technological advances to national purpose. Platt had been an early promoter of the Erie Canal, and Morse was not only the finest portrait painter in New York, but an inventor as well. A decade after completing this work, Morse retired from his artistic career to devote himself to the development of the telegraph.
Oil on canvas
35 15/16 x 29 7/16 in. (91.3 x 74.8 cm) (show scale)
Dick S. Ramsay Fund
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Samuel Finley Breese Morse (American, 1791-1872). Jonas Platt, 1828. Oil on canvas, 35 15/16 x 29 7/16 in. (91.3 x 74.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 85.23 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 85.23_SL1.jpg)
overall, 85.23_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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