Loammi Baldwin (1780-1838) |
Loammi Baldwin was one of the few Americans in the early nineteenth century to approach civil engineering as a professional discipline. Among his accomplishments were the construction of a fort at Boston Harbor, plans for improving river and road transportation in Virginia, and the construction of the Union Canal in Pennsylvania in the 1820s.
Massachusetts artist Chester Harding painted this portrait in 1823, during his first, and Baldwin's second, trip to England. The picture's dramatic crossed-arm pose and adept brushwork indicate that Harding was influenced by portraits that he had recently seen in English collections. He recorded his judgment of the finished painting: "Finished the portrait of Mr. Baldwin. Not entirely satisfied with it, but by no means discouraged; for I daily behold worse paintings than I ever painted, even in Pittsburg."
Chester Harding (1792-1866)
Oil on canvas mounted on aluminum, 1823
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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