Thomas Sully (American, 1783-1872)
Portrait of General George Cadwalader (1806-1879), c. 1850
Initialed "TS" l.r., identified on a typed label and with a frame manufacturer's
label from J. Middleton Jr., Philadelphia, affixed to the reverse.
Oil on panel, 21 x 18 in. (53.3 x 45.7 cm), in a period frame.
Condition: Retouch, restored left and right edges of panel, very fine craquelure.
Provenance: George H. Story (1835-1922), New York City (Smithsonian American Art Museum Inventory of American Paintings no. 83420238); Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York City (Smithsonian American Art Museum Inventory of American Paintings no. 61071556); a prominent Cincinnati, Ohio, collector.
Literature: Edward Biddle and Mantle Fielding, The Life and Works of Thomas Sully 1783-1872 (Wickersham Press, 1921), p. 114, no. 269; Paul A. Chew, ed., Two Hundred and Fifty Years of Art in Pennsylvania (Westmoreland County Museum of Art, 1959), no. 123 (illus. pl. 28).
N.B. General George Cadwalader was a fifth-generation descendant of John Cadwalader (1677-1734) who first came to America from Wales in 1697 to practice the Quaker religion freely. Though George Cadwalader was also an attorney and real estate investor, he devoted most of his life to military duty. Over his three-decade career, he fought in the Mexican-American War (1846 to 1847) and served as a major general of the First Division of Pennsylvania troops in the Civil War (1861-1865). (1)
1. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Collection 1454, Cadwalader Family Papers, 1623-1962, The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2007, p. 5.
There is retouch along both sides where the panel has been pieced together. There are also tiny dots of retouch to the face (mostly in the white area on his cheek and forehead), and glazes of retouch in his hair and uniform. The craquelure is very fine and stable.