Peale, Rembrandt – American Artist

Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860)

Born in Pennsylvania in 1778, Rembrandt Peale was the second son and pupil of Charles Willson Peale. In 1797, he and his brother Raphaelle opened a museum of art and natural history in Baltimore, and later assisted his father in unearthing and assembling the first complete skeleton of a mastodon. After a sojourn as a painter of historical scenes, he established himself as a successful portrait artist. At age 17, he obtained a sitting by George Washington. Thus began his lifetime quest to produce the most fitting image of Washington and have it accepted as the President’s official likeness. The original Patriae Pater was acquired by Congress in 1832, the centennial of Washington’s birth. Beginning in the 1840′s, he created more than 70 paintings of Washington, which provided him a continuous income. He later served as president of the American Academy of Art, and spent the remainder of his life of Philadelphia where he died in 1860.

biographical information courtesy of the Coeur d’Alene Art Auction.

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