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 John Watson  (1685 - 1768)

About: John Watson
 

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Lived/Active: New Jersey / Scotland      Known for: naive portrait, miniature painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An 18th century portraitist living in New York and New Jersey, John Watson was one of the first artists in that area.  He was from Scotland, and in 1714, emigrated to Perth Amboy, New Jersey where he stayed for the remainder of his life except for one return trip in 1730.

For his portraits, he used oil, wash, and graphite on vellum, and the few extant oil portraits are very large with monumental images in a dramatic style that relates to the English Baroque portraiture of Sir Godfrey Kneller.  His graphite and wash drawings are in the New Jersey Historical Society.

In addition to painting, Watson was also involved in real estate and money lending, and he owned much property in his home-town area.

He died in 1768 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Sources include:
Matthew Baigell,
Dictionary of American Art
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

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