The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters



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James Peale 

American Realist Painter


Education: he studied under his brother Charles Willson Peale

Mediums - oil on panel or canvas, watercolor on ivory

Cause of Death -  heart failure

James Peale.
James Peale Biography

James Peale was born in 1749 in Chestertown, Maryland. His father was an English immigrant schoolteacher.  James began working at a local saddelry in 1762, but longed for the smell of linseed oil and the feel of a brush. After four years of drudgery he began his apprenticeship as a cabinet maker. James later became his assistant and pupil to his older brother Charles Willson Peale.  The American Revolution swept the Peale brothers off to battle and James became  a first lieutenant in General Smallwood's Maryland regiment in the Continental Army.  In 1782 he married the beautiful and talented Mary Claypoole. The happy union produced six children, four of whom were artists.
By 1785 Peale had distinguished himself as a skillful miniature painter, specializing  in portraiture and still-life.

Peale painted several portraits of George Washington and is considered one of the greatest American Colonial era artists.  His masterpieces hang in the collection of the New York Historical Society as well as in  Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.. James Peale died in 1831.

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