Core Holdings of the Tormey-Holder Collection: Washington Blanchard
Bearded Nineteenth Century American Gentleman,
Seated in a Chair
by Washington Blanchard (1808-1855)
2 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches (sight)
watercolor on ivory; housed in a Smith's half-case wallet frame with an ormolu mat
About the Artist: Washington Blanchard was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where he spent the majority of his career as both a painter and lithographic artist. Exhibited at the Boston Athenæum in 1835 and 1836. In 1837, he relocated to Washington, D.C., where he was active painting miniature portraits of prominent citizens of that city. Notable subjects include John C. Calhoun (congressman and senator from South Carolina who also served as Vice President under both Presidents John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson), Henry Clay (long-term congressman and senator from Kentucky), Benjamin Tappan (senator from Ohio), and Silas Wright, Jr. (congressman and senator from New York and 14th Governor of New York). From Washington, he also traveled to Richmond, Virginia (winter of 1838-39), Philadelphia (1841) and Charleston, South Carolina (January 1844). In his later years, he returned to Boston, where he died of tuberculosis on June 9, 1855, at the age of 46. Listed by Barratt & Zabar (page 190), Bolton (page 14), Blättel (pages 154, 155) and Fielding (page 81).