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2024 Winter Fine Art, Antiques & Jewelry (Day 1)

Sat, Jan 27, 2024 09:00AM EST
Lot 333

Eastman Johnson Oil Portrait of a Child, plus same Dress worn in Portrait

Estimate: $2,000 - $2,400

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

1st item: Eastman Johnson (American, 1824-1906) oil on board portrait of a Victorian child in an interior setting. The young subject is depicted with curly blond hair and attired in a blue and white off the shoulder dress, standing with left arm resting on the seat of a green upholstered chair. The setting includes a richly patterned carpet and red drape in the background. Signed with initials in red lower left "E.J." Housed in a gilt carved wood Louis XIII style frame with multi-motif bands of molding. Sight: 15 5/8" H x 12 3/4" W. Framed: 21 1/4" H x 18 3/8" W.

2nd item: Framed dress of the sitter of the above portrait, mounted under glass and showing the rear view of the dress including all of the buttons. 27 1/2" H x 37 1/2" W.

Biography: Eastman Johnson was an American genre painter born in Lovell, Maine in 1824. At the age of 18, he began making crayon portraits of prominent figures such as Dolly Madison, John Quincy Adams, and various senators as his father worked closely with the government at the time. He sought to open a gallery of all the portraits. In 1846 he moved to Boston and received patronage from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to make a series of these crayon portraits. In 1849, he traveled to Dusseldorf, Germany and began painting under Emanuel Leutze. He spent the rest of his time abroad studying Dutch Old Master painters, and returned to the United States in 1855.

His fame began to grow when he exhibited a series of genre paintings based on the daily lives of American slaves which he had studied at Mt. Vernon. His paintings created controversy because they exposed realistic slave activities and had a wide influence on peoples' knowledge and understanding of the institution of slavery. After this, he became extremely successful and continued to paint genre scenes until the end of his life, when he returned to portraiture until his death in 1906 (source: National Gallery of Art).


Painting with buckling to board, visible en verso across the mid-section. A few minor scattered pinprick losses. Frame with light wear. Please refer to UV photos. Dress with deteriation to fabric and staining and some missing buttons. Possible other missing elements, not examined out of the frame.

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