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Part of The American Wing
Ralph Earl (American, Worcester County, Massachusetts 1751–1801 Bolton, Connecticut)
Date: 1789Accession Number: 1979.395
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The struggle for independence had isolated the colonies artistically as well economically, but the years following the cessation of hostilities with Britain were ones of steady growth and, beginning in 1785, saw the return from London of the country's most talented artists. Gilbert Stuart rose to prominence as America's leading urban portraitist, while Ralph Earl offered his considerable talents to the country's emerging rural middle class. The proud new citizens of the United States had much to celebrate in their domestic, commercial, and professional lives in the post-Revolutionary period, and many commissioned portraits—such as those seen in this gallery—that reflected their patriotism as well as their social status.
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