Portrait of Catherine McArthur (1834-1864)

Collection Type

  • Art

Date

1836

GUSN

GUSN-11042

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

Descriptive Terms

portraits
oil paint (paint)
canvas
apple (fruit)
floral patterns
flowers (plants)
Picture
Portrait
Oil on Canvas
Dandelion
Apple
Blossom
Portrait

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.

Inscription

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""

Associated Person

McArthur, Catherine, 1834-1864 ?

Associated Building

Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.),

Maker

Smith, Royall Brewster, 1801-1849 (Maker)

Location of Origin

USA

Dimensions

50 x 27 x 0.75 (HxWxD) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little

Accession Number

1991.1348.3

Places

Maine (United States)
Limington (York county, Maine)