About this artwork
Charles Willson Peale was a prominent figure in the cultural and scientific life of Philadelphia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He established his own museum dedicated to the arts and natural sciences and helped found the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1805. Mrs. John Nicholson (Hannah Duncan) and John Nicholson, Jr. is a tender portrait of mother and child. The natural backdrop and sprig of flowers in the boy’s hand signal a domestic bond. Mrs. Nicholson’s uncorseted dress and freely coiffed hair (without a wig) likewise speak to the humanistic ideals of the Enlightenment.
- Charles Willson Peale
- Mrs. John Nicholson (Hannah Duncan) and John Nicholson, Jr.
- Oil on canvas
- Signed and dated, lower right: "CWPeale/Painted 1790."
- 91.5 × 69.3 cm (36 × 27 5/16 in.)
- Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carter H. Harrison