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Portrait of a Gentleman

1839 John Alexander McDougall Born: Livingston, New Jersey Died: New York 1894 watercolor on ivory sight 2 x 1 7/8 in. (5.1 x 4.8 cm) oval Smithsonian American Art Museum Bequest of Mary Elizabeth Spencer 1999.27.25.2 Not currently on view

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John Alexander McDougall painted these sitters, possibly a husband and wife, while he was in New Orleans in 1839. The artist used different backgrounds for each painting. The plain background of the gentleman’s portrait complements the blue of his eyes, while the dark trees surrounding the lady emphasize her pale complexion. Conservation of these miniatures was made possible through a generous grant provided by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.


Portrait male - unidentified - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor