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James Peale (American, 1749 - 1831)
Portrait of Madame Dubocq and Her Children, 1807, oil on canvas.
Gift of Mrs. Aglaé Kent Bixby. Conservation funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency 1932.29.1

James Peale was an American painter, best known for his miniature and still life paintings, and a younger brother of noted painter Charles Wilson Peale. After his brother Charles returned from London where he had studied with Benjamin West, Peale served as his assistant and learned how to paint. He established his reputation as a portrait artist in Philadelphia where he painted this portrait of Marie Françoise Trochon de Lorriére Dubocq and her children in 1807.

Madame Dubocq, the daughter of a French count, moved to Haiti after the French Revolution and later relocated to Philadelphia with her husband William Dubocq, a successful china merchant. Peale presents a fashionable family dressed in Neoclassical gowns and jewelry. He lavishes attention on the draperies and lacework in the clothing and brings unity to the painting with his careful use of rose and silvery gray tones. A sense of familial harmony is reinforced by the intimate and intertwined grouping that suggests an affectionate relationship between a mother and her children. When the family moved to Shippingport, Kentucky, in the late 1830s, they brought the portrait with them. It was given to the Speed by the granddaughter of Marie Aglaé Dubocq, shown second from right.




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