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 Charles Loring Elliott  (1812 - 1868)

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About: Charles Loring Elliott


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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: portrait and landscape painting, marble sculpture, illustration

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Ad Code: 3
Charles Loring Elliott
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of Thomas Loraine McKenney
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Scipio, New York, Charles Loring Elliott became one of the leading mid-19th century portrait painters, known for strong, un-embellished work that focused only on the personality and character of the sitter. It was said that his style was perfect for his time when society admired the self-made man.

As a youth, he was discouraged by his architect father from studying art, so he worked in a store until his father relented and sent him to New York to study with portraitists John Quidor and John Trumbull.

Lacking early success, he did some illustration and then spent ten years sharpening his skills as an itinerant portrait painter throughout the Northeast. In 1839, he opened a studio in New York City and achieved immediate acceptance, painting portraits of many persons of political, academic, literary, and fine art prominence. His subjects included William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Cyrus McCormick, and James Fenimore Cooper.

Major influences on his work during this period was portraitist Henry Inman whom he met in 1844 and also the new art of photography whose realism he strove to depict in his portraits.

After Inman's death in 1846, Elliott was the most prominent portrait painter in New York. In 1847, he was made a full Academician of the National Academy of Design, where he exhibited frequently. He died in Albany, New York.

David Dearinger, Editor, Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, Volume One, 1826-1925

Biography from The Caldwell Gallery - I:
Charles Loring Elliot, born in 1812, became an important American portrait painter. He studied with John Quidor in New York City. From 1829-39, Elliott worked as an itinerant portrait painter across Central New York. After 1839, his work shifted primarily to NYC, where he became the premiere portraitist, succeeding Henry Inman. Among his famous sitters was James Fennimore Cooper.

Elliott was able to capture individual characteristics in a straightforward manner, with little idealism or decoration. The viewer’s exclusive attention is directed on the subject without distraction, usually in a neutral background. Elliott painted many prominent writers, artists and politicians of his time. He exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design, NYC, regularly and was elected an associate in 1845. Elliott died in 1868.

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Charles Elliott is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915

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