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Maker(s):Porter, Rufus (attributed to)
Culture:American (1792-1884)
Title:Miniature Portrait of Abraham Hilliard
Date Made:circa 1820
Materials:watercolor on paper; black fabric; original reverse painting on glass; gilt frame
Place Made:Massachusetts: Cambridge
Measurements:Frame: 6 5/8 x 5 1/8 x 1 1/4 in; 16.8 x 13 x 3.2 cm; Sight: 4 3/8 x 3 7/16 in; 11.1 x 8.7 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2023.8.9
Credit Line:Gift of Juliene and Carl M. Lindberg
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Profile portrait of a man, proper left view. He has dark brown hair and is wearing a black coat and white cravat. Gilt wood frame with dark brown (possibly faded from black) fabric oval mat and reverse painted and gilded glass with oval sight. Inscribed on reverse: "Abraham Hilliard son of Capt. Joseph Hilliard and Anna Loverin [portion of inscription lost] born in Kensington Ju [portion of inscription lost] 778 Picture of about 1820 [20 overwritten with 05] Modern attached tag reads" Lot 18 Portrait of Abraham Hilliard, son of Capt. Joseph Hilliard and Ana Soverin Hilliard (see other portrait) Born Kensington 6/14/1778 "picture about 1805 [crossed out] 1820.

Spanning careers as diverse as dance instructor and mechanical engineer, the professionally mercurial Rufus Porter settled into miniature painting around 1819 - a practice that, unlike many, he would never fully abandon. Born in West Boxford, MA, in 1792, Porter had an early itinerant painting practice that took him up and down the Eastern seaboard. Porter's watercolors demonstrate remarkable precision. Porter had a remarkable ability to render details as fine as individual hairs and jewels embedded in an earring.


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