(1774 - 1825)
Raphaelle Peale was active/lived in Pennsylvania, Maryland. Raphaelle Peale is known for still-life, portraits, and figure painting.
click to hear
Biography from the Archives of askART
Raphaelle Peale was born in Annapolis, Maryland in 1774. He was
the eldest son of Charles Willson Peale, under whom he first studied in
Philadelphia. He was the first of Peale's children to survive
infancy. In the early 1790s, he helped his father run the Peale
Museum in Philadelphia. In 1796 he attempted, together with his
brother Rembrandt, to organize a portrait gallery, which apparently
failed, for in 1799 he had settled in Philadelphia as a miniature
** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
He spent the major part of his life in
Philadelphia. Raphaelle was the tragic figure in the Peale
household. Full of impish humor and artistic genius, he was never
able to earn a living from his art. In the absence of commissions
he turned his imagination to helping his father in the invention of
stoves, fireplace improvements and wooden bridges, and in the mounting
of the larger animals in the museum. In 1803, John L. Hawkins,
the English inventor, allowed Raphaelle to take his physionotrace, a
profile cutting machine, with him on an extended Southern trip.
The device was a huge success and Raphaelle made a small fortune
cutting thousands of profiles. But he spent it quickly, and for
the most part, like other family members, faced constant financial
In 1797, at the age of twenty-three, Raphaelle married
Martha (Patty) MaGlathery, a full-figured Irish beauty. She bore
him seven living children, four of them boys and three girls.
Three others did not live.
Raphaelle's hands became more
arthritic, and, as a combination of alcoholism and gout made steady
work impossible, he grew more dependent on his father. His wife,
a pretty shrew of a woman, was forced to take in boarders to support
the family. In 1815 he abandoned miniature painting and turned to
still life, most of which was "trompe l'oeil' or deceptions, as
Raphaelle called them. He was one of the first important painters
of still life in this country and his work, together with that of his
uncle, James Peale, to which it bears great similarity, exerted a
profound influence on the development of this kind of painting in
He traveled extensively and advertised his work in
local newspapers by offering discounts and guarantees. As his
last job before he died, he was reduced to writing "lovesick poems" for
a baker to put on cakes. On March 5, 1825, just days before his
51st birthday, he died of cold exposure on a Philadelphia street while
under the influence of alcohol.
Masterpieces of Art, Catalogue of the New York World's Fair, 1940
From the Internet, AskART.com
Article in Smithsonian Magazine written by Lillian B. Miller (date unknown)
Article by M. Therese Southgate, M.D. in the Journal of the American Medical Association, August 23/30, 1995
Time magazine, March 9, 1959
Philadelphia Story by Phoebe Lloyd in Art in America, November 1988
Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher form Laguna Woods, California.
Share an image of the Artist email@example.com.