John Haviland

John Neagle (1796–1865)
Oil on canvas
33 x 26 in. (83.8 x 66 cm)
Credit Line:
The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment Fund, 1938
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 731
The ingenious British architect John Haviland (1792 - 1852) sat for his contemporary John Neagle, while at work on the building that would make him famous. Haviland's Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia (1823-29), one of the largest architectural projects yet undertaken in the United States, was hailed as revolutionary and epochal. In this portrait, Haviland appears to be checking with calipers his innovative scheme of cells radiating from a central core; his plan would later influence prison design internationally. The watercolor rendering at right shows the neo-Gothic facade of the prison, while the book--a volume of James Stuart and Nicholas Revett's "The Antiquities of Athens" (1762-1816)--betrays his eclectic stylistic interests. Haviland later designed the Hall of Justice in New York (fondly called "The Tombs") and was a founder of the American Institute of Architects.
Signature: [on the book]: J.N. 1828; [on lining canvas]: Portrait of John Haviland / Architect / Painted by John Neagle / Philada 1828

Inscription: [on paper label on stretcher]: These are to certify that John Haviland Esquire / Architect of Philadelphia U. S. is admitted / an Honorary and Corresponding Member / of the Royal Institute of British Architects; [on stretcher] Stuart's Athens
John F. Braun, Philadelphia, died 1839; Ferargil Galleries, New York, by 1938