Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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John Magee Ellsworth

Artist:
Thomas Ball (American, Charleston, Massachusetts 1819–1911 Montclair, New Jersey)
Date:
1876
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
33 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 10 in. (85.7 x 34.9 x 25.4 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Charles A. Van Rensselaer III, in memory of his aunt, Elisabeth Van Rensselaer Ellsworth, 1992
Accession Number:
1992.236a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
In 1876 the family of John Magee Ellsworth (1874-1921) made a stop at Ball’s studio in Florence during their Grand Tour of Europe, resulting in a commission for full-length portrait of two-year-old Ellsworth. He is depicted nude, in a contrapposto pose, holding drapery in his left hand and raising his right one in greeting. The original accompanying mahogany pedestal (28 3/4 in. H) is identical to those favored by fellow American expatriate sculptor Hiram Powers, whose Florentine estate adjoined Ball’s property. It was quite possible fashioned by the same workers.
Signature: [left side of the base]: T. BALL / 1876
family of John Magee Ellsworth, 1876; John Magee Ellsworth, until d. 1921; his wife Elisabeth Van Rensselaer Ellsworth, until d. 1967; her great-nephew Charles A. Van Rensselaer III, until 1992
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