Photo: Courtesy of Scott Nielsen
31.1 U.S. Portraits, Men
When Johnson returned to the United States, he not only painted genre paintings but he also continued to paint portraits, which gave him a steady income. After 1880 Johnson turned to portraiture almost exclusively. During the 1880s and 1890s he painted businessmen, lawyers, university presidents, and three U.S. presidents from life. At times he also painted their wives and children.
He was also commissioned to paint posthumous portraits, often from photographs. These portraits by and large do not have the sparkle and active brushwork of those done from life. It seems that the demand for portraits of business and civic leaders (and members of exclusive men’s clubs) was so high that portrait painters would often make copies of each other’s paintings to satisfy the market for such images. In many instances, it has been difficult to render opinions for such paintings. —PH
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Hills no. 31.1.150
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm)
Signed and dated: January 1856
Private collection, Washington (by descent)
Sitter: Newton, James
James Newton. Captain of local steam ferry Seneca in 1866 that ran from Superior to other points in Minnesota such as Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, and LaPointe. Johnson's second trip was largely spent in Grand Portage, and Newton likely helped him get to and from that settlement about 140 miles northeast of Superior. Younger brother of William Newton; brother of John (who partially owned Seneca), Mary, and Martha.
- Portrait pose:
- Portrait sitter families:
Record last updated February 23, 2022. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Hills, Patricia, and Abigael MacGibeny. "James Newton, 1856, January (Hills no. 31.1.150)." Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. https://www.eastmanjohnson.org/catalogue/entry.php?SystemID=1596 (accessed on March 21, 2023).