Neagle’s relationship with Sully was both professional, as the younger artist spent a good deal of time absorbing the older portraitist’s advice on stylistic and technical matters, and personal, as Neagle married Sully’s niece and stepdaughter, Mary Chester Sully, in 1820. The artist’s portrait sketch of his father-in-law, taken from life on February 17, 1831, evinces a robust delight in making a quick study. Sully is portrayed in his studio, with palette and a fistful of brushes, holding his maulstick. A portrait in progress leans against an easel to his right, and he rests his left hand on another, freshly stretched, canvas.
Inscription: [along bottom in brown ink]: Sketch of Thos Sully, artist - / from Nature - / by JnoNeagle / Feby 17 1831
the artist, died 1865; descended in his family; sale, Sotheby's, New York, March 25, 1997 (as part of a scrapbook); Spanierman Gallery, New York, 1997