Portrait of Capt. Thomas Trent, Jr. (1786-1861) and his son, William Henry Trent (1832-1905)
Origin: America, Virginia, Appomattox County
Unframed: 36 5/8 x 31 3/8in. (93 x 79.7cm) and Framed: 44 3/4 x 39 1/8 x 2 5/16in.
Oil on very fine tabby-weave canvas, painted and gilded wood frame. The painting strainers are est. as hard pine and the frame as soft pine.
Gift of Thomas R. Terry in memory of Joseph B. and Mary Featherston Terry
Acc. No. 2002.100.1,A&B
A double portrait of a seated man with a boy on his lap, the man turned slightly towards the viewer's left, the boy slightly towards the viewer's right. The man's proper right arm encircles and supports the child, his proper right hand on the boy's shoulder; his proper left arm is draped over the back of his chair, then circling forward so that his hand rests on his lap. In his proper left hand he holds a book with a red cover, his thumb inserted among the pages. The boy holds a book fully opened and extended toward the viewer, as if to show its pages. The man wears a black coat, large black tie, and white shirt. He has medium brown hair and dark brown eyes. The boy wears a black suit with very full sleeves; it is seamed down the front and, underneath, his white shirt has a wide split collar; the upper edge of a yellow waistcoat is visible between shirt collar and suit. The seat is a black-painted side chair with a slat crest, decorated with gold stripling in two widths. The background is a plain, warm-toned, mauve-hued brown.
The 4-inch frame is original; it consists of two sections, a 3 1/4-inch inner gilded cyma recta molding and a 3/4-inch black-painted quarter round outer edge; the inner section is butted or mortised and tenoned, the outer mitred. An irregular 3-inch long remnant of leather is nailed to the back center top of the top strainer and top frame member. The strainers are nailed directly into the frame. Regarding hanging rings, see comments for the companion portrait, 2002.100.2.
Provenance:This painting descended along with its companion [2002.100.2], a double portrait of Mrs. Thomas Trent, Jr. (Martha D. Holland) (1801-1850) and her daughter, Joella Flood Trent (1836-?). The two paintings descended from the elder subjects to their son, William Henry Trent (shown as a child in this painting).
William Henry Trent's " . . . descendants decided in the early 20th century that they did not want them and they put them out in the trash." Their first cousin once removed, Mrs. Robert Emmett Baldwin (Lucie Lillie Featherston) (1881-1968), " . . . was horrified and recovered them." [See note no. 1 below]. When Lucie L. F. Baldwin died, the paintings remained with her husband, Robert Emmett Baldwin (1879-1977); when he died, the paintings came to his nephew-in-law, Joseph B. Terry (d. 1991; Joseph B. Terry's wife, Mary lizabeth Featherston Terry (1912-1977), had pre-deceased him). When Joseph B. Terry died, the contents of his house in Appomattox, including the two paintings were left to his son, Thomas R. Terry, who becam AARFAM's donor [see note no. 2 below].
(1) Thomas R. Terry to AARFAM, Feb. 25, 2002.
(2) Ibid, plus Thomas R. Terry email to AARFAM of 3/20/02.
Inscription(s):On the reverse of the canvas, in the lower right quadrant, in dark brown (est. iron gall) ink, in a combination of block and script lettering styles is: "T + Trent 1837 aged 51 years". Below and to the right of the preceding is: "Wm Henry T[rent]/aged 5 years". N.B. The lettering supplied in brackets has been obliterated by a puncture, the canvas likely having been weakened by the acidic ink.