Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné
Patricia Hills, PhD, Founder and Director | Abigael MacGibeny, MA, Project Manager
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Catalogue Entry

Photo: Courtesy of the Frick Art Reference Library
Henry Codman Potter, 1886 (Hills no. 31.1.166). Frame
Photo: Grace Church
Henry Codman Potter, 1886 (Hills no. 31.1.166). Inscription
Photo: Grace Church
Henry Codman Potter, 1886 (Hills no. 31.1.166). Plate on frame
Plate on frame
Photo: Grace Church
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. 31.1.166
Baur no. 243
Henry Codman Potter
Alternate titles: possibly Bishop H. A. Potter [sic]; possibly Bishop Potter; possibly Portrait of Bishop Henry C. Potter; The Reverend Henry C. Potter D.D.
Oil on canvas
50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm)
Signed and dated lower right: E. Johnson/1886 [As in other Johnson paintings of the 1880s and 1890s, the date has a flat top]
Record last updated August 9, 2021. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Hills, Patricia, and Abigael MacGibeny. "Henry Codman Potter, 1886 (Hills no. 31.1.166)." Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. https://www.eastmanjohnson.org/catalogue/entry.php?id=619 (accessed on December 1, 2023).