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Portrait of a Young Man

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




John Wollaston
American, born England, c. 1710–c. 1775

About this artwork

An established portrait painter in England, John Wollaston came to the American colonies to ply his trade in 1749. For the next three years, Wollaston worked in New York, executing numerous portraits for area sitters eager to acquire quality likenesses from a skilled, European-trained artist—a rarity in mid-18th-century America. Wollaston rendered his figures with convincing modeling and forms, excelling in the depiction of colorful draperies. In Portrait of a Young Man, as in his other works of the time, the artist employed formulaic poses, gestures, and dress, a result, in part, of looking to English sources for portraiture, but also a means of meeting the many requests for commissions. Beginning in 1753, Wollaston painted in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and South Carolina.


On View, Gallery 166


Arts of the Americas


John Wollaston


Portrait of a Young Man


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1749–1752


Oil on canvas


133.4 × 107.6 cm (52 1/2 × 42 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Goodman Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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