Artwork of the Week: May 19, 2019
Sarah Miriam Peale (1800-1885), Portrait of Patience Cole Cortland, c.1840, oil on canvas, 35 7/8 x 29 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Millard Duxbury, 1969.
This week we celebrate, Sarah Miriam Peale, born into a family of American artists in Philadelphia on May 19, 1800. She won numerous awards and was one of the first women in the United States to achieve professional recognition as an artist. From her studio in Baltimore, Peale painted congressman, diplomats, and other successful individuals, like this elegant portrait of Patience Cole Cortland. The direct gaze of the sitter and her slightly upturned mouth, giving the hint of a smile, is typical of Peale’s portraits. Peale demonstrated her skill at painting finely detailed fabrics; the lace collar and sheen of the subject’s velvet dress along with her embroidered fringed shawl are superbly rendered.