L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Nathaniel Olds, by Jeptha Homer Wade, 1837

Wade painted Nathaniel Olds and his wife, Sarah Avery Olds, in 1837. Nathaniel wears the green-tinted glasses - for which his portrait, in the Cleveland Museum of Art, is so well known - apparently to protect his eyes from the extremely bright light of whale oil lamps, thought at the time to be harmful to one's eyesight.  Sadly, I've not been able to find any information about the sitters.

Wade's portrait of Mrs. Olds is certainly the less successful of the two, perhaps hinting that the dash of its pendant was just a charming fluke, and that the artist's subsequent change of profession was not ill-advised.


Jeptha Homer Wade (11 August 1811, Romulus, New York – 9 August 1890, Cleveland), American industrialist, philanthropist, and one of the founding members of Western Union Telegraph. He made the first Daguerreotypes west of New York, and was a portrait painter in his youth, before moving to Michigan in 1840 and developing an interest in the telegraph. He later used his great wealth to benefit his adopted home city of Cleveland.

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