Leah Lipton, "Chester Harding and the Life Portrait of Daniel Boone," THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL 16 (1984) 4-19

1984

Leah Lipton, "Chester Harding and the Life Portrait of Daniel Boone," THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL 16 (1984) 4-19

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There are eight versions of the Harding painting. #1) Oil sketch, 1820: Massachusetts Historical Society. Gift of George T. Bigelow. 21.5" X 16.5". #2) First completed half-length, 1820: Private collection. From Herbert Lee Pratt, who acquired it from J. Colvin Randall, who acquired it from J. B. Longacre. 29" X 24". #3) Remnant of full-length portrait, 1820: Private collection. San Francisco, from Mary S. King, Caroline Harding King. 23.5" X 19". #4) Copy, date unknown but perhaps 1821: J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY, from Judge Lafon Allen, who acquired it from Matthew Jouett. 20.5" X 14.5". #5) Kennedy Galleries, New York, possibly from Judge John Riley. 28.25" X 22.25". #6) Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, from Mrs. Daniel Russell. 24" X 20". #7) Private collection. Formerly Mrs. F. R. Bisell. 24" X 19.75". #8) The Filson Club, Louisville, KY. 23.5" X 20". LPTN:5,18n

File: LPTN.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 3:33:45 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20344-25787
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20344-25787


1984

Leah Lipton, "Chester Harding and the Life Portrait of Daniel Boone," THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL 16 (1984) 4-19

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Harding had been a successful portrait painter in Kentucky; but feeling that he needed to improve, had spent the winter of 1819-20 in Philadelphia studying the work of Thomas Sully and other artists at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Back in the west he ended up in St. Louis, where he did a portrait of Governor William Clark, which in turn helped him to get other clients. This notice: <Chester Harding tenders his professional services to the citizens of St. Louis and its vicinity. His room is in the house of Mr. Beebe, where ladies and gentlement are invited to call and see specimens of his work.> ST. LOUIS ENQUIRER, 5/6/1820. Because the weather was hot and the city sickly, he set out for the country in June of 1820, in part to get out of the city, in part with the intention of painting Boone. LPTN:5

File: LPTN.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 3:34:11 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20344-25788
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20344-25788


1984

Leah Lipton, "Chester Harding and the Life Portrait of Daniel Boone," THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL 16 (1984) 4-19

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According to George Caleb Bingham, who was a boy of ten years old in 1820, and saw Harding at work in Franklin MO on the half-length portrait: Harding had produced "a pencil drawing and perhaps a study in oils from life, but the portrait was completed in his temporary studio in Franklin, and its completion wittnessed by myself." The pencil sketch was in the hands of William Clark, but is now lost. The oil sketch is in the Massachusetts Historical Society. This was Harding's regular practice: to make a simple life portrait with total emphasis on the face, as the basis for later replicas. The rest -- what he called the "drapery" -- came later, and he would vary these according to the demands of the client or the purpose for which the portrait was made. It is also unreasonable to think that Harding had the facilities or materials to paint a finished portrait at Boone's cabin, or expected the infirm old man to pose for that long. From these studies, Harding produced at least two finished portraits at that time, one a half-length figure wearing a golden-brown coat with a dark bearskin collar, a red waistcoat, and a metal knife holder in a brown leather belt. This he sold to James Barton Longacre in 1833, who reproduced it in his NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY OF DISTINGUISHED AMERICANS (1835). The other a life-sized, full-length portrait, painted on a table oilcloth, in which Boone stood with his hat in hand, leaning on his rifle, a small dog at his feet. (One of Bingham's first attempts at painting reproduced this full-length portrait as a tavern sign.) The extant engraving was said by Ludlow to be "a good copy of the painted likeness." The full-length portrait was the one possessed for a time by the state of Kentucky; after Harding regained possession, he cut it down to the head only. LPTN:9-10

File: LPTN.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 3:34:34 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20344-25789
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20344-25789


1984

Leah Lipton, "Chester Harding and the Life Portrait of Daniel Boone," THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL 16 (1984) 4-19

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On Harding's repossession of the full-length painting: it was delivered to him on 6/17/1860, according to documents at the University of Kentucky Art Museum in Lexington. It was at this point that he gave the sketch to George Tyler Bigelow, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, who then donated it in 1861 to the Massachusetts Historical Society. He offered the cut-down version to Lyman Draper, who did not buy it, and finally gave it to his son-in-law, John Lord King of Springfield, MA; it is not in the collection of a descendant. LPTN:13-16

File: LPTN.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 3:35:19 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20344-25790
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20344-25790


1984

Leah Lipton, "Chester Harding and the Life Portrait of Daniel Boone," THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL 16 (1984) 4-19

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Description of the oil sketch: the face is gaunt, with sunken, pitted cheeks and a toothless mouth; has a dark blue-green background; strong cast of green to the face; influence of Thomas Sully is apparent in the looseness and brushy handling of the paint. The two completed paintings (#2 and #3, half-length, full-length now cut) also show the sunken cheeks, pitted skin, rheumy old eyes, red-rimmed with drooping lids. LPTN:16

File: LPTN.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 3:35:42 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20344-25791
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20344-25791


1984

Leah Lipton, "Chester Harding and the Life Portrait of Daniel Boone," THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL 16 (1984) 4-19

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Harding said to LCD: he "never finished the drapery of the original picture, but copied the head, I think, at three different times." [Since he did #1 and #2 at the same time, this may mean that he made copies of the original sketches on three occasions, with perhaps more than a total of three copies.] The painting with the best claim to be the third is the one at the J. B. Speed Art Museum in Louisville. It is much less modeled than the other two, probably done at a different time, perhaps in Kentucky in 1821. In the opinion of Lipton, the remaining four portraits (#5-8) are copies by several other artists; none has a firm provenance back to Harding, and none is stylistically convincing as his work. They are, however, contemporary copies, dating to the period of the original. LPTN:18

File: LPTN.NT1



    Created: 8/4/2017 3:36:01 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20344-25792
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20344-25792


1984

Leah Lipton, "Chester Harding and the Life Portrait of Daniel Boone," THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL 16 (1984) 4-19

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Timothy Flint: <He had what phrenologists would have considered a model head -- with a forehead peculiarly high, noble and bold -- thin and compressed lips -- a mild, clear blue eye -- a large and prominent chin, and a general expression of countenance in which fearlessness and courage sat enthroned. Never was old age more green or gray hairs more graceful. His high, calm, bold forehead seemed converted by his years into iron.> Lipton comments: <It would be hard to imagine a more faithful visual representation of Timothy Flint's words than these paintings of Daniel Boone by Chester Harding.> LPTN:18

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    Created: 8/4/2017 3:36:23 PM
    Project: Digitizing Daniel Boone
    Creator: Faragher, John Mack
    ID: 27-40-20344-25793
    Permanent Link: https://sourcenotes.miamioh.edu/id?27-40-20344-25793














    

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