Portrait of Sea Captain John Murphy

  • Joshua Johnson, Portrait of Sea Captain John Murphy, ca. 1810, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Leonard and Paula Granoff, 1983.95.57

Exhibition Label
Joshua Johnson, a self-trained artist and former slave, is the earliest documented professional African American painter.  His sitters were Captain John Murphy and his wife, Irish immigrants who lived in Baltimore, where Johnson painted many merchants, seamen, and their families. In these portraits--intended to hang side-by-side--the artist delighted in fine details, from the captain's artfully arranged curls to his wife's sheer lace collar.
Title
Portrait of Sea Captain John Murphy
Artist
Date
ca. 1810
On View
Dimensions
21 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (54.6 x 44.5 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Leonard and Paula Granoff

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Portrait male – Murphy, John
  • Occupation – transportation – captain
Object Number
1983.95.57
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI