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Portrait of John H. Pardee (1837-1904) and Elbert A. Pardee (1839-1921)

1840
Origin: America, Connecticut, New Haven
Unframed: 47 3/8 x 41 1/4in. (120.3 x 104.8cm) and Framed: 56 1/4 x 50 x 3 3/8in.
Oil on canvas
Gift of Gwendolyn and Carl Oppenheim
Acc. No. 2012.100.1,A&B
A portrait of two children in an interior. The larger child, a boy, stands to the (viewer's) right and extends his proper right arm towards the smaller child, who is shown seated on a sofa beside him. The boy's proper right hand supports an orange. The boy wears a knee-length blue tunic that is split down the front and gathered and held in place at the natural waistline with a black, gold-buckeled belt. The tunic has long sleeves that are ruched over the upper arms and balloon over the elbows. The neckline bears a wide, ruffled, self-collar. The boy also wears long white trousers, white stockings, and black shoes. He has pale blonde, side-parted, short hair. In his proper left hand, he holds a forked branch bearing long, pointed, green leaves. Behind the boy at the far (viewer's) right is a small brown wheelbarrow; one of its sides is removed and lays on the floor.

The smaller child grasps the same, shared orange with both hands. His short, reddish hair is brushed towards his face. He wears a white dress that has a low, straight neckline with off-the-shoulder, short, puffed sleeves. The sleeves are trimmed in lace and each bears a blue rosette at the shoulder. He also wears blue shoes or booties and a necklace of blue beads. Beside him on the sofa is a woven rattle and a brown spool.

The sofa is upholstered in blue and sports a pleated skirt at the front. A brass caster on its only visible foot appears near center front.

At lower left, a mottled brown and white, long-tailed dog poses in a rampant position with one fore leg supporting his weight on a small, red-upholstered footstool. The far leg is not shown. The dog looks up at the orange.

The floor is carpeted. The carpet pattern is complex and includes grape tendrils and large, abstract medallions. Its colors are predominantly tan, beige, and salmon. The background is a dark olive green.

The 5-inch frame is a modern replacement that was provided by former owner G. K. S. Bush ("Provenance"); it is thought to have been fabricated by Gold Leaf Studio, Washington, DC. It consists of a splayed, varnished maple center section with a gilded liner and gilded, quarter-round outer edge. Also see "Curatorial Remarks."
Label:An accident crippled Joseph Whiting Stock when he was eleven years old. Nevertheless, with encouragement and help from his family and his physician (who designed a special wheelchair for him), he developed a successful career as a portraitist. He not only maintained a studio in Springfield, Massachusetts, but also traveled widely in New England and upstate New York, by coach and train.

The subjects of this double portrait were the first children born to John Alling Pardee and his wife, Jeanette R. Hotchkiss. The couple lived in New Haven, Connecticut, where John's occupation was reported variously as a "joiner," "master carpenter," and "house joiner."

In his journal, Stock recorded charging $20 for the boys' portrait and $10 apiece for individual likenesses of their parents. Stock's journal also noted that he stayed with the family for a week while he painted them.


Provenance:The picture is said to have descended in the family of one of the subjects, but the exact line has not been traced as of 4/19/2012. Thence, to an unidentified Connecticut dealer; in 1962, to Mr. and Mrs. Denison Hurlbut Hatch of Riverside, Conn.; to one or more unidentified owner(s); sold at auction by William Doyle Galleries, New York, NY, November 19, 1997, lot no. 79; purchased at the foregoing by G. K. S. Bush Antiques, Washington, DC; purchased from the preceding by David Friedman, Susquehanna Antique Company, Washington, DC, on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Oppenheim, then of Chevy Chase, Md.
Mark(s):A partly-typed and partly-printed label is tacked to the back of the upper stretcher. The printed sections read "SMITH COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART/NORTHAMPTON MASSACHUSETTS/01060". The center, typed section reads "Joseph Whiting Stock/John and Albert Pardee/oil on canvas 48 x 36/owned by Mrs. Denison Hurlbut Hatch/Riverside, Conn."
Inscription(s):A modern label on the back of the modern (expansion bolt) median stretcher is hand-inscribed in blue ink in script: "Elbert Allen Pardee/and/John Pardee/1840/New Haven, Connecticut". Beside this, handwritten in script in graphite, is "Joseph Stock".