Folk Art Portrait of an Engaging Young Man
Born During the War of 1812.
American, probably New England, dated 1829. Oil on wooden panel. The young man identified on the back in script-pencil as HC Pond, born Dcm (December) 18-1812, painted in 1829 age 17. Research shows an HC Pond, from Litchfield, CT, served during the Civil War, enlisting in the 1st Artillary, Dec 1, 1863, and mustered out September 25, 1865. The lower right front panel signed E. Pond, undoubtedly a relative of young HC. Research finds no other painting by this artist, so may be a singular work, although it likely other portraits were painted by this artist given his obvious skill. HC is most fashionably attired in an elegant double breasted charcoal-gray coat, black vest and tie, and high collared white shirt. His handsome face with wide almond-shaped eyes and smooth skin complement his stylish attire, which, combined with excellent proportions and subtle color harmony, elevate this portrait well above most that we encounter. The portrait cuts a clear, bold silhouette that makes good use of the characteristic padded shoulders found on the coats of the period. The work is executed with both confidence and skill and yet is "flatter", intuitive and less developed than its academic counterparts. Excellent condition with very thin vertical cracks repaired; minor in-painting. Housed in a terrific period red-painted frame that presents the portrait beautifully. Appealing small size without being a miniature. It does not demand a large wall and yet still carries visually at a reasonable distance. Overall frame size about 15 1/2 inches tall x 13 wide. Provenance includes some years ago David Wheatcroft, Marlboro, MA.