John Magee Ellsworth

Thomas Ball American

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.

John Magee Ellsworth, Thomas Ball (American, Charlestown, Massachusetts 1819–1911 Montclair, New Jersey), Marble, American

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