Early American Painting

Jonathan Adams Bartlett (1817–1902)
Portrait of Harriet, c. 1840
Oil on canvas, 28 1/4 x 23 13/16 in. (71.8 x 60.5 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.14

Object - Jonathan Adams Bartlett, Portrait of Harriet

Jonathan Adams Bartlett spent most of his life in Maine, working as a farmer, carpenter, and self-taught portraitist. Portrait of Harriet presents the artist’s younger sister, Harriet Cushman Bartlett, dressed in an elegant black gown and seemingly interrupted while reading. She is seated by a table piled with volumes before a backdrop of columns, drapery, and a pastoral landscape. The awkward anatomy and perspective are characteristic of portraits by self-taught early-nineteenth-century artists, but with its elaborate background and provocative pose, Bartlett’s portrait suggests the sophisticated aspirations of painter and sitter alike. Little is known about Harriet, but this painting hints at her intellectual aspirations. In American portraiture, women reading books sometimes signals piety, but the abundance of reading matter in this portrait seems to confirm the subject’s interest in literature.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.


Jonathan Adams Bartlett (1817–1902)
Portrait of Harriet, c. 1840
Oil on canvas, 28 1/4 x 23 13/16 in. (71.8 x 60.5 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.14

Early American Painting

John Lewis Krimmel (1786–1821)
Blind Man's Buff, 1814
Oil on canvas, 16 5/8 x 22 1/16 in. (42.2 x 56.0 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.82
John Singleton Copley (1738–1815)
Portrait of Mrs. John Stevens (Judith Sargent, later Mrs. John Murray), 1770–72
Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 in. (127.0 x 101.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2000.6
Rembrandt Peale (1778–1860)
George Washington, Porthole Portrait, after 1824
Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 29 3/16 in. (92.1 x 74.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.53
Edward Hicks (1780–1849)
A Peaceable Kingdom with Quakers Bearing Banners, c. 1829–1830
Oil on canvas, 17 5/8 x 23 5/8 in. (44.8 x 60.0 cm) . Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1993.7
Ammi Phillips (1788–1865)
Girl in a Red Dress, c. 1835
Oil on canvas, 32 3/8 x 27 3/8 in. (82.2 x 69.5 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.57
Erastus Salisbury Field (1805–1900)
Portrait of a Woman said to be Clarissa Gallond Cook, in front of a Cityscape, c. 1838
Oil on canvas, 34 3/4 x 28 3/8 in. (88.3 x 72.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2000.4
Samuel F. B. Morse (1791–1872)
Gallery of the Louvre, 1831–33
Oil on canvas, 73 3/4 x 108 in. (187.3 x 274.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.51
Washington Allston (1779–1843)
Lorenzo and Jessica, 1832
Oil on artist's board, 15 x 18 in. (38.1 x 45.7 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2000.3
Jonathan Adams Bartlett (1817–1902)
Portrait of Harriet, c. 1840
Oil on canvas, 28 1/4 x 23 13/16 in. (71.8 x 60.5 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.14
Thomas Sully (1783–1872)
Portrait of Blanch Sully, 1839
Oil on paperboard, 24 x 20 in. (61.0 x 50.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2000.2