Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My a-Peale-ing ancestors

Self-portrait with Angelica and Portrait of Rachel
Well folks, yesterday I was going to do a post on laundry rooms in honor of our not-so-dear but departed clothes washer but it bored me.
Today I thought that the Peale family might be a bit more interesting than the utilitarian masquerading as decor.
As the title suggests, the famous American painting family, the Peale's are my ancestor's on my mother's side through his third wife, Hannah More.
Charles Willson Peale is perhaps the most famous of the clan and father of Rembrandt, Raphaelle, Rubens and Titian Peale and Angelica Kaufman, all famous in their own right as artists. He had 16 children in all.
George Washington at the battle of Princeton
The elder Peale studied under such noted artists as John Singelton Copley and Benjamin West but he was so much more than just a painter. He a renaissance man long after the the renaissance. Peale had a great interest in natural history, and organized the first U.S. scientific expedition in 1801. These two major interests combined in his founding of what became the Philadelphia Museum, and was later renamed the Peale Museum and relocated to Baltimore.  He was an inventor, naturalist, scientist, soldier as well.

The artist in his museum
 Arguably his most famous painting, "The staircase group" is a visually arresting portrait of two of his sons, Raphaelle and Titian.

The giant door shaped canvas presents an rather, avant-garde (for the time) compostion and captures a mood and moment very unlike the conventional English painting that he studied.

George Washington
He is equally notable for his portraits of his contemporaries. He painted George Washington 14 times!

I mentioned earlier that his children were famous artists as well. I will go more in depth about their lives and art another time but I encourage you to read more about this extraordinary family. HERE and HERE

The Peale family

Portrait of Rubens Peale by Rembrandt Peale
Buffalo Hunt on the Platte by Titian Peale


Kris said...

Oh wow, you have quite an interesting ancestry. I don't believe that I can go back that far through our family tree to figure out if we are related to any one famous or not. I'm not too sure I want to know! HAHA

My Crafty Home Life said...

And that is why I can't paint like you!

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Hi Kerry - That is super awesome! As I deal in antiques, the heritage and history of people, art, and objects are so intriguing to me. Such a rich family history you have.

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Well, we know it has to come from somewhere! How exciting to be able to look back and their works and know where it all started!

Pigtown*Design said...

psssst... peale museum is in baltimore!

Lisa - A Room with A View said...

Kerry, I am so very impressed! You must be so proud to have such amazing lineage - like royalty! said...

I think my favorite is the one of Rubens Peale. What a neat bit of family history!