Pastel portrait of the Reverend John Marsh of Wethersfield, Connecticut. Pastel profile portrait of man facing right in a full bottomed white powdered wig, smooth fleshy face with dark eyebrows, minister's geneva band or collar, and sober black clothing, drawn within a darker grey oval upon a lighter gray field, in giltwood frame with worn labels on verso pertaining to the sitter and his relatives. Rev. John Marsh was born on November 2, 1742 in Haverhill, Mass. He graduated from Harvard in 1761 and in 1765 received his license to preach. Between 1771 and 1773, he was employed as a tutor at Harvard, and was ordained as the minister of the First Church of Christ in Wethersfield, Conn. in 1774, a position he held for 48 years until his death. He married Ann Grant of East Windsor, Connecticut in December of 1775 and had a total of seven children. Rev. Marsh was a life-long academic and proponent of education. In 1801, he was elected Fellow of Yale College and retained the position for 19 years. In either 1806 or 1808, John Marsh received his Doctor of Divinity from Yale. As a pastor, he provided monetary assistance for some young men to continue their education. His eldest and middle sons also pursued academic careers. Rev. Marsh was described as a patriotic supporter of independence from Britain and of the Continental Army. He died in 1821 following a short illness. The attribution to John Marsh and Ann Grant is based on direct descent in the family and numerous paper labels attached to the dust papers on the back of the frames. The pastels are attributed to Gerrit Schipper (1775-c. 1830), an itinerant artist, was born in Amsterdam in September 1775, and studied painting in Paris during the 1790s. He came to America in 1803, and traveled to Charleston, SC, Boston, MA, Worcester, MA, Hartford, CT, New Haven, CT, and New York City. He was married in Amsterdam in 1806, and spent the rest of his career in England. These pastels relate other collections at Historic Deerfield including Ann Grant's needlework coat of arms [HD 1391], their documented Chippendale side chairs made by cabinetmaker Eliphalet Chapin [HD 2013.2, HD 57.235, HD 57.235A] , and a desk and bookcase [HD 0282.1], all which were among the furnishings bought by Ann's father wealthy West India merchant-oligarch Ebenezer Grant for their wedding.
portraits; clergy; male
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