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Autograph Letter Signed ("Thos Sully") to Mr. Benson J. Lossing concerning a portrait of Stephan Decatur (1779-1820)
Philadelphia, 1861. Half page. 1 vols. 8vo. Lined paper. Fine. Half page. 1 vols. 8vo. Thomas Sully (1783-1872) emigrated from England at the age of 9 and grew up in Charleston. He learned painting from his brother Lawrence (whose widow he subsequently married), and from his brother-in-law Jean Belzons; he later studied with Benjamin West in London. He moved to various locations, settling in Philadelphia in 1808, where he quickly became its leading portrait painter, a position he held until his death. This letter to the famous historian Benson Lossing is in response to Lossing's request for the character and appearance of "the late (Commodore) Decatur...he demeaned himself as a perfect gentleman. His form was perfect. I painted him for the City of New York 12 of July, 1814." It is one of his most famous portraits now in City Hall, New York. It is a full figure portrait with Decatur leaning on the hilt of his sword and with Castle William and New York Bay in the background. Edward Biddle & Mantle Fielding, "The Life and Works of Thomas Sully, 1783-1872, #450 (Portrait of Decatur referred to here)
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller ]
Last Found On: 2015-10-11           Check availability:      ABAA    


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