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Portrait of an Upholsterer

2000.591 (RS32712)

Description

Bearded gentleman facing left, seated. White shirt, black neck tie. Hammer in left hand, upholstered chair leaning against knees. Right hand lifting red upholstery on a Rococo revival side chair. Scissors, screwdriver(?) and 3rd tool attach to wall at left of portrait. Frame is not original.

Details

Label
"Cherished Possessions": Despite the rapidly improving technology that was changing industries across New England in the nineteenth century, upholstery remained a labor-intensive trade requiring highly skilled craftsmanship. The upholsterer in this portrait is doing the work typical of a custom shop, using high-quality materials and traditional techniques to build the foundation of the seat. His tools are those that upholsterers had used for centuries. He is shown holding a tack hammer to fasten down the red silk damask show cover; a circular needle and shears are supported by a strip of leather nailed to the wall behind him, along with a third tool, most likely a regulator, used to arrange the upholstery stuffing.<br/>
Maker
Cuypers, Franciscus Reinerus Hubertus, 1820-1866 (Artist)
Date
1852
Inscriptions
Inscribed in lower right: ""F. Cuypers/ 1852/ Boston""
Material
canvas
oil paint (paint)
Object type
Art
Places
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Massachusetts (United States)
Descriptive terms
canvas
Oil on Canvas
oil paint (paint)
paintings (visual works)
Picture
Portrait
portraits
Dimensions
42.5 x 37.5 (HxW) (inches)
Accession Number
2000.591
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
GUSN
26684

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