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Clarissa Seymour (later Mrs. Truman Marsh)

Ralph Earl

American Art

On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Landscape/Colony to Nation, 5th Floor
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.
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"
CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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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
IMAGE overall, 48.8_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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