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Narrow, rectangular format. Full-length portrait of boy holding a flower in his left hand and a book in his right, wearing a dark suit. Unframed. Son of Sarah Prince McArthur (1991.1348.2) and Arthur McArthur, Esq. (1991.1348.1), brother of William Miltimore McArthur (1991.1348.4), and Catherin McArthur (1991.1348.3).
oil paint (paint)
Oil on Canvas
"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.
Painted in yellow paint at base of image, on blue band: ""ARTHUR MCARTHUR 2ND, BORN SEPTEMBER 15TH, 1830/PAINTED JUNE 1836, BY ROYALL B. SMITH"" On verso: 1- OLLENDORFF label: ""Lot no. 7538""/""Piece no. 35B"" 2- Lower left stretcher: ""#3618 (d)""
Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.),
Smith, Royall Brewster, 1801-1849 (Maker)
50 x 27 x 0.875 (HxWxD) (inches)
Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little
Maine (United States)
Limington (York county, Maine)