Lot 255
John Gadsby Chapman (American, 1808-1889), Return from the Vineyard
Lot Details & Additional Photographs
Oil on canvas (lined), unsigned, presented in a period appropriate gilt composition frame with gallery plaque.

Stretcher size 39 x 30 in.; Frame dimensions 50 1/4 x 41 1/2 in.

Charleston Renaissance Gallery, Charleston, South Carolina
Private Collection, Virginia

The grandson of a well-known tavern keeper, John Gadsby Chapman was born in Alexandria, Virginia. After studying under Charles Bird King in Washington, D.C. and the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts, he traveled to Italy to continue his studies and launch his career. In 1831, Chapman returned to America and divided his time between Washington, D.C. and New York.

During the 1830s and early 1840s, Chapman built his reputation as a portrait painter and history painter. He painted portraits of the Washington family, President Madison and Davy Crockett. In 1836, Chapman was elected a member of the National Academy of Design. By 1840, he had completed his most famous work, The Baptism of Pocahontas, which was a commission for the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Chapman and his family returned to Italy in 1848. They settled in Rome where he built up a successful business selling paintings of the Campagna and figures in traditional dress to the bustling tourist trade. With the outbreak of the American Civil War and his wife's death in 1874, Chapman's fortunes floundered. He returned to America in 1884, dying on Staten Island in 1889 at the age of 81.

Paintings by John Gadsby Chapman are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; George Washington's Mount Vernon; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; The Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina; Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, South Carolina; and others.

Minor scattered retouch to sky, an area of in-fill at lower right corner; small spot of retouch to woman's cheek and small area of skirt near basket of grapes.

$2,000 - 4,000