Portrait of Godfrey Frankenstein

  • John Frankenstein, Portrait of Godfrey Frankenstein, ca. 1840, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1973.159

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John Frankenstein painted this portrait of his younger brother Godfrey, while they shared studio space in Ohio. Godfrey Frankenstein was elected president of the Cincinnati Academy of Fine Arts in 1841, and was later known as "The Painter of Niagara Falls" after creating about a hundred paintings of the national treasure. Here, John portrayed his brother surrounded by plaster casts of classical sculpture and numerous thick books, the largest of which is labeled "Schiller," probably referring to the German philosopher, Friedrich Schiller.

Portrait of Godfrey Frankenstein
ca. 1840
On View
23 7/8 x 20 in. (60.7 x 50.7 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Recreation – leisure – letter reading and writing
  • Recreation – leisure – reading
  • Object – art object – sculpture
  • Object – art object – painting
  • Architecture Interior – studio
  • Object – written matter – book
  • Portrait male – Frankenstein, Godfrey – bust
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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