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Portrait of Catherine McArthur (1834-1864)

1991.1348.3 (RS35120)

Description

Narrow, rectangular format. Full-length portrait of a standing girl, with rose dress, holding bunch of dandelions and apple blossoms. Unframed. Daughter of Sarah Prince McArthur (1991.1348.2) and Arthur McArthur, Esq. (1991.1348.1), sister of William Miltimore McArthur (1991.1348.4), and Arthur McArthur II (1991.1348.5).

Details

Label
"Cherished Possessions": Royall Brewster Smith passed his entire life in rural Maine, painting portraits and apparently houses and signs as well. In 1836 he painted these portraits of five members of the McArthur family of Limington, Maine. Twenty-five years after these were painted, the McArthur family was torn apart when the two brothers enlisted on opposite sides in the Civil War. Their sister Catherine abhorred the war, calling it “fratricidal strife” and describing her brother Arthur, who had enlisted in the Confederate army, as “dear, noble, but mistaken.” She schemed ways to get a letter across the lines to him, not knowing that he had already been killed. Catherine herself did not survive the war but died of heart failure in 1864.
Maker
Smith, Royall Brewster, 1801-1849 (Maker)
Date
1836
Inscriptions
Painted in yellow paint at base of image, on blue band: ""CATHERINE MCARTHUR, BORN JANUARY 29TH, 1834/ PAINTED JUNE 1836 BY ROYALL B. SMITH/"" On verso: 1- On left stretcher reverse, yellow OLLENDORF label: ""Lot no. 7538"" ""Piece no. 35A"" 2- In chalk, partially obscured by #1 CATHERINE MCARTHUR 3- Upper right stretcher in jelly label with red border, typed: ""Loaned by/Mr. and Mrs. B.K. Little/ 305 Warren St., Brookline, Mass/02146"" 4- Upper left, stretcher: ""#3618a""
Location of origin
USA
Associated Building
Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.).
Material
canvas
oil paint (paint)
Object type
Art
Places
Limington (York county, Maine)
Maine (United States)
Descriptive terms
Apple
apple (fruit)
Blossom
canvas
Dandelion
floral patterns
flowers (plants)
Oil on Canvas
oil paint (paint)
Picture
Portrait
portraits
People and organizations
McArthur, Catherine, 1834-1864 ?
Dimensions
50 x 27 x 0.75 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
1991.1348.3
Credit Line
Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little
GUSN
11042

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