pastel on paper
23 3/4 x 19 1/2 in.
Artist or Maker
MICAH WILLIAMS (1782-1837)
Montclair, New Jersey, Montclair Art Museum, Art in New Jersey from 1776 to 1876, January1-28, 1945, cat. no. 52.
Irwin F. Cortelyou, The Magazine Antiques, "A mysterious pastellist identified," August 1954, p. 124.
Mrs. Henry Flock, Trenton, New Jersey sold 1941 to
Joseph Fishman, Philadelphia
James T. Flexner
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Property from the Estate of James Thomas Flexner
This portrait was part of a group of works attributed to the H.C. artist known for working in the Trenton area of New Jersey. Flexner dubed this portrait "Trenton Gentleman" due to the fact that the portrait was backed with a sheet from the "True American", Trenton, December 21, 1818. This portrait is recorded in the Frick Art Reference Library.
Flexner also references this portrait in his History of American Painting Volume Two: The Light of Distant Skies:
Subtlety of Shape came to this artist more easily then effective color; it is a rare primitive who, like Micah Williams, impresses primarily with his hues. In Williams's Trenton Gentleman, painted about 1825, a dark blue coat lightened with brass buttons, stands out startlingly against an emerald green background which enhances the gray-green of the eyes. The hard outlines remind us slightly of David, the color of Van Gogh."