Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Portrait of the Downer Children

1850 Peter Frederick Rothermel Born: Nescopeck, Pennsylvania 1812 Died: Linfield, Pennsylvania 1895 oil on canvas 38 1/8 x 48 1/8 in. (96.9 x 122.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Josephine Regar Schlagel 2000.8 Not currently on view


Luce Center Label

Peter Frederick Rothermel created an imaginary landscape of lush vegetation and clouds behind the Downer children, who pose as stiffly as statues. A medieval castle looms in the distance behind Dora, while Amy leans against a stone pedestal, holding her baby brother, Adolph. The white rabbit, a gentle creature of nature, symbolizes the children’s own natural innocence. Captain George Downer and his wife commissioned Rothermel to paint this portrait when he was the director of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in Philadelphia.

Keywords

Animal - rabbit

Portrait female - Downer,

Portrait group - family - siblings

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Peter Frederick Rothermel

Born: Nescopeck, Pennsylvania 1812 Died: Linfield, Pennsylvania 1895

More works in the collection by
Peter Frederick Rothermel