Thomas Sully (American, 1783-1872)
Portrait of Ellen Shepherd Brooks (Mrs. Gorham Brooks)
Monogrammed and dated "TS.1831." c.r., identified on a loan label from the Boston
Museum of Fine Arts on the reverse.
Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm), framed.
Condition: Canvas mounted to cradled Masonite panel, minor retouch, fine stable craquelure, scattered scuffs to background, surface accretions.
Literature: Edward Biddle and Mantle Fielding, The Life and Works of Thomas Sully (1783-1872) (Philadelphia: Wickersham Press, 1921), entry #203, p. 107.
Provenance: By descent within the family of the sitter.
N.B. Ellen Brooks's father, R.D. Shepherd, was a ship owner from Massachusetts. In 1834 he commissioned a vessel to be built in Medford and christened it after his daughter. A painting of the ship Ellen Brooks, attributed to Samuel Walters, is offered in this auction as Lot 359.
Minor retouch to proper right sleeve, with one 1/4 in dot and scattered small dots and dashes. A few dots of retouch to the l.r. corner. Possible very thin wash to retouch to the sides of the sitter's cheeks and to her neck. Minor frame abrasions. Craquelure is minor and stable, located primarily in the dress.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has commented that the loan label appears to be theirs, but that they don't find record of a specific work listed with the loan inventory number typed in red on the label.
The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.