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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.
paintings (visual works)
oil paint (paint)
Oil on Canvas
"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.
Inscribed in lower right: ""F. Cuypers/ 1852/ Boston""
Cuypers, Franciscus Reinerus Hubertus, 1820-1866 (Artist)
42.5 x 37.5 (HxW) (inches)
Massachusetts (United States)
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)