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Portrait of Daniel Clarke

1791
Origin: America, Pennsylvania
Framed: 31 x 26 x 1 1/2in. (78.7 x 66 x 3.8cm)
Oil on canvas
Gift of Julie Lindberg in memory of Carl Michael Lindberg, College of William & Mary, Class of 1962
Acc. No. 2016.100.2,A&B
Portrait of a young man wearing a floral patterned waistcoat with a dark blue or black coat and white stock. The man is seated in front of a drop leaf table with a letter, ink well and quill are resting. Also behind him, is a column and red drape with a tassel hanging over him. Behind the table is a landscape which includes the sitter's house.
Label:This portrait of a young gentleman has long been identified as Daniel Clarke. Several men of that name and the appropriate age lived in the region where itinerant folk artist Jacob Frymire worked. The well-dressed subject sits before a red drapery that lifts to reveal a substantial brick dwelling. These elements imply that the subject was economically successful.

Jacob Frymire is estimated to have completed over 200 portraits, largely of middle income sitters in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky. By 1794, he was working as an itinerant painter, sometimes rendering portraits for innkeepers in exchange for his board. Later in life, Frymire kept a “Painting Room” on King Street in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. After he inherited his father’s substantial land holdings in 1816, the artist gradually turned his focus to his farm and family. He died in 1822.