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

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The artist not the art - Henry Peters Gray, miniature by Henry Colton Shumway, 1842

Painted in watercolor on ivory, the entire portrait measures a tiny fraction over one inch by two inches.

Henry Peters Gray (23 June 1819, New York City - 12 November 1877, New York City), American portrait and genre painter. A pupil of Daniel Huntington, he subsequently accompanied his teacher to Europe where he remained for two years, studying in Rome and Florence. Elected a member of the National Academy of Design in 1842 - the year of his portrait - he succeeded Huntington as president in 1870, holding the position until the following year. His later years were devoted to portrait work.

A daguerreotype of Gray taken only a few years after the miniature, circa 1844-1846. (Daguerreotypes are a reversed image.)
A print taken from the daguerreotype; the reversal of the image has been corrected.
Gray was twenty-three at the time his portrait was taken.


Henry Colton Shumway (4 July 1807, Middletown, Connecticut - 6 May 1884, New York City), American painter, specializing in miniatures. He studied at the Academy of Design in New York City, and was later resident in his home state, New Orleans, and for a long period in New York where he exhibited until 1860. He portrayed many important personages of the day and, at the height of his career, his paintings sold for upwards of three hundred dollars. With the advent of photography in the 1860s, Shumway and many other miniature painters abandoned that format and worked at producing hand-colored daguerreotypes.

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