Lady Williams and Child

Ralph Earl American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

By 1783 Earl was a member of the entourage of American artists in the London studio of Benjamin West, where he absorbed the lessons of the British portrait tradition. He persisted, however, in painting forceful characterizations of his subjects and capturing the materiality of objects; both proclivities reveal the continuing influence of John Singleton Copley’s colonial portraits. Here, Earl conveyed maternal affection along with precise details of costume and furnishings in illusionistic passages such as the reflection of a leg of the inkstand on the tabletop.

Lady Williams and Child, Ralph Earl (American, Worcester County, Massachusetts 1751–1801 Bolton, Connecticut), Oil on canvas, American

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