Attributed to Thomas B. Welch (American, 1814-1874) oil on canvas three-quarter view portrait painting of John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850), 7th Vice President of the United States and Senator from South Carolina, depicted as a gentleman with white hair, wearing a black coat and tie. Signed "T. B. Welch" in red paint lower left. Unframed; canvas is secured to stretcher. 25 3/4" H x 21 1/2" W. Circa 1849-1859. This lot is accompanied by a copy of a 1987 letter from Robert G. Stewart, Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery, stating that the portrait is "easily identifiable" as John Calhoun. The artist T.B. Welch exhibited a portrait of John C. Calhoun in the Pennsylvania Academy Annual 1859 Exhibition. Stewart goes on to state that the portrait appears to be based on or similar to several photographs of Calhoun taken in Washington in 1849, one year before Calhoun's death, and that the red signature may have been added later. Thomas B. Welch was an engraver and portrait painter born in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a student of James Barton Longacre and his subjects included Robert E. Lee as well as historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Welch spent most of his life in Philadelphia and beginning in 1832 exhibited his work at the Pennsylvania Academy, American Academy and Apollo Association among others. He died in Paris in 1874. CONDITION: Overall good condition with craquelure, scuffs/surface abrasions, largest 13". Areas of paint rubbing, largest 4 1/2", edges of canvas.
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