Attributed to Frederick Mayhew (Martha's Vineyard and Ohio, 1785-1854)
Portrait of Sea Captain Bartlett Mayhew. Unsigned. Oil on canvas, depicting a bust-length portrait of the gentleman wearing a blue jacket with brass buttons, white frilled shirt and a yellow vest, 19 3/4 x 17 in., unframed. Condition: Small tear c.r.
Provenance: Descended in the family of the sitter to the consignor.
Note: According to Deborah Chotner in American Naive Paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Frederick W. Mayhew was born in Chilmark, Massachusetts on Martha's Vineyard July 6, 1785. He married Zelinda Tilton April 10, 1802 and had one child Lucinda who was born in 1812. The couple moved to Morgan (now Noble), county in Ohio sometime after 1830. "He may have painted landscapes after moving to Ohio: the History of Noble County describes him as a landscape painter and a sailor ... Mayhew's known works are all portraits dating from his years on Martha's Vineyard, where island lore holds that he mixed Gay Head clay with dogfish oil to make his paint ... the artist's style is characterized by subtle facial modeling, close attention to details of costume ... backgrounds are generally solid and neutral... Mayhew died on October 17, 1854 and is buried in the Tilton family cemetery in Cambridge, Ohio." American Naive Paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington, p. 254.
Literature: Frederick Mayhew's paintings are in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., the New Bedford Whaling Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts and the Dukes County Historical Society.