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Boston School

Boston School

Portraiture was the most popular type of paintings in America from colonial times into the 19th century. The earliest painters had no formal training; their work is known as naive art. Often the paintings served as a documentary recording the sitter's possessions, clothing and good taste. By the early 1800s, the artists were becoming better trained. Many studied abroad, absorbing the European elegance and refinement and studying under the great masters. The primitive style of portraiture was replaced with more realistic renderings using light, the draping of fabrics and multihued palettes. The subjects of the portraits remained the upper class which could afford the commissions. In the mid 1800s, photography was much more accessible, and the demand for portraits declined. Nevertheless, the affluent still took pleasure in depicting themselves and their possessions on canvas. The paintings were sophisticated, elegant, sentimental and romantic. The Boston School of painting was know for its refined and elegant portraits. The artists favored painting a single figure subject against an indistinct background. The palettes were earthy, tonal, and thinly painted, using extremely delicate brush work. Artists only hinted at fabrics and textures and details were painted without depth flattering the subject.

Available paintings by Boston School

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