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

Photo: Courtesy of Princeton University Art Museum
James McCosh, 1883 (Hills no. 31.1.132). Frame
Photo: Abigael MacGibeny
James McCosh, 1883 (Hills no. 31.1.132). Overall
Photo: Patricia Hills
James McCosh, 1883 (Hills no. 31.1.132). Inscription
Photo: Abigael MacGibeny
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. 31.1.132
Baur no. 229
James McCosh
Princeton University title: James McCosh (1811–1894)
Alternate titles: possibly Dr. McCosh; possibly Dr. N. Cosh [sic—mistranscribed]; possibly Portrait of Dr. McCosh; possibly Portrait of the Late Rev. Dr. McCosh, Pres. Princeton College; possibly Portrait of the Rev. Dr. M'Cosh; possibly Rev. Dr. James McCosh; The Reverend Dr. James McCosh
Oil on canvas
26 5/8 x 21 5/8 in. (67.6 x 54.9 cm) (sight)
Signed and dated lower left: E. Johnson/1883 [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. "James McCosh, 1883 (Hills no. 31.1.132)." Eastman Johnson Catalogue Raisonné. www.eastmanjohnson.org/catalogue/entry.php?id=880 (accessed on February 22, 2024).