Rembrandt Peale - Biography - Works


In 1801, Rembrandt painted a portrait of his brother Rubens, youngest of the six Peale children, who always had an admiration for gardening and tending to natural life. Rembrandt seated his brother next to a geranium. The painting signifies the artist’s admiration for a sibling’s love of nature, and may have been inspired by the Dutch 17th century artist, David Teniers the Younger, who had painted a series of oil-on-copper paintings representing the five senses. His painting, "Smell" is quite similar to Rembrandt Peale’s. Rembrandt's piece captures the essence of a young gardener/artist’s peace of mind, gracefully looking out, a posture of wonder and calmness.

In 1824 Peale painted the Patriæ Pater, in which a rectangle supporting an oval wreath surrounds the eye-catching image of George Washington. The most successful painting of Peale's 50-year career, it inspired John Marshall to have his portrait done by Peale in the same fashion. The painting was criticized as lacking authenticity, as it was not completed until after Washington's death (1799). Nonetheless, Peale received commendations for his portrait by many noted politicians such as Washington’s nephew, Judge Bushrod Washington, who was an associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and Marshall.

Peale's neoclassical painting The Roman Daughter depicts a young girl shielding her father, a prisoner in chains, and feeding him from her breast. This piece demonstrates compassion and graceful defense; his copy of Correggio's Angel, and his immense allegorical painting, Court of Death (1820), reveal the same artistic style.

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