Thomas Le Clear: Interior with Portraits

Interior with Portraits: Thomas Le Clear

American Genre painter Thomas Le Clear was commissioned by banker Franklin Sidway to paint Interior with Portraits in 1865. It depicts Sidway’s two siblings James and Parnell posing in front of a previously painted background while the artist takes a reference photograph.

The painting is notable for the fact that the likeness of a young James and Parnell was created from past photographs of the two, as Parnell died some 15 years prior to this painting, and James perished in a fire he was attending as a volunteer prior to the painting being commissioned, likely the catalyst for the event.

Thomas Le Clear’s Interior with Portraits can be found in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C, United States.

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