Portrait of Reverend James Cogswell

Collection Type

  • Art






Rectangular format, three-quarter length portrait of an elderly man, seated in a fluted Chippendale armchair with seat upholstered with brass tacks. Faces right, with decorative column in left background and window view of white church with red roof and two white houses in right background. The window is framed by rose drapery with fringe. The man's right hand is placed upon a Bible, open upon a mahogany table. He is wearing clerical attire, with a large, white wig and a black suit with tabs. The frame is ebonized with gold, beaded lines.


Descriptive Terms

paintings (visual works)
oil paint (paint)
painting (coating)
Coated Canvas


1- Jelly label on left of top stretcher: ""Property of/Mrs. Betram K. Little/(Nina F.)/ 305 Warren Street/Brokline, Mass. 02146"" 2- Pencil inscript. on left of top stretcher: [Obscured]IN WILLMANTIC, CONN. 3- Blue label in left of top stretcher- Vose Gallery label: ""Artist- Reverend Joseph Steward/Title- Reverend James Cogswell"" 4- White paper on center of top stretcher: ""Rev. James Cogswell born Saybrook, Conn. Jan. 6, 1720, died Hartford, Conn. Jan. 2, 1807/ Was graduated from Yale College in 1742. Married Alice Fitch, Canterbury, Conn. Was a minister 60 years/ Wm. Sawitsky authority early American paintings believes portrait painted by Rev. James/Steward, the well known Ralph Earl copyist and imitator who worked in Hartford, Conn./ Portrait came from cousin Mary E. Weld who lives in Philadelphia and who received it from her mother Mary Austin Cogswell Weld, daughter of Rev. James Cogswell. 5- Piece of linen, on right of top stretcher: ""Rev. Dr. James Cogswell (Cogswell book 196)/ born Saybrook, Conn. Jan. 6, 1720/ Graduate Yale 1742 Degree D.D. Yale 1790/ Churches at Canterbury, Conn./died Hartford, Conn., Jan. 2, 1807/ Scottish Parish, Windham, Conn./ Portrait given me by cousin Mary Elizabeth Weld, great grand daught/ William Sawitsky believes painted by Rev. George Steward. 6- In pencil at right of top stretcher: ""#24520/ 39 x 43 7- White ticket attached to eyehook on left stretcher: ""WADSWORTH ATHENEUM/ Please do not remove/ the hooks and wires/ from the back of/ this picture. Thank you/ Nina F. Litte/ Sept. 7/ 1984. 8-Jelly label on middle stretcher: ""THE CONNETICUT HISTORICAL SOCIETY/Exhibition- COGSWELL, REVEREND JAMES (1719/20-1807)/ OWNER- Betram K. and Nina Fletcher Little."" 9-On white sticker in center of middle stretcher: ""WADSWORTH ATHENEUM/ HARTFORD, CONN./ No. T.L. 40.1984/ Artist Joseph Steward/Title Portrait of Rev. James Cogswell/owner Nina Little, Essex, MA 10- Yellow disk attached to eye hook on far right of middle stretcher: ""Rev. James./ Cogswell/ by Steward"" 11- A black stamp on right side of lower stretcher: ""From/Vose Galleries/ of Boston, Inc./ 238 Newbury St.""

Associated Person

Cogswell, James, 1720-1807

Associated Building

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


Attributed to Steward, Joseph, 1753-1822 (Maker)


43 1/2 x 39 1/4 (HxW) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little

Accession Number



Connecticut (United States)