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 Nathaniel Jocelyn  (1796 - 1881)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/New York / Europe      Known for: portrait painting, engraving-bank notes

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Ad Code: 3
Nathaniel Jocelyn
from Auction House Records.
Portrait of Mr. Cornelia Jocelyn
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Engraver, portrait and miniature painter, Nathaniel Jocelyn was born in New Haven, Connecticut where his father was a clockmaker and engraver and Nathaniel worked with him. At the same time, he also pursued his interest in painting and drawing and engraving, which he studied with George Munger around 1813. By 1816 they had published at least one print under the name of Jocelin & Munger.  He also came to the attention of John Trumbull, who encouraged the young man with his skills.

In 1817, Jocelyn became associated with the Hartford Graphic & Bank Note Engraving Company, and in 1818 ,he and his brother Simeon Smith Jocelyn went into partnership as N. & S. S. Jocelyn until 1843.

Meanwhile he had married Sarah Atwater Plant and had begun working as a portrait and miniature painter, which he pursued in Savannah, Georgia where he lived from 1820 to 1822 .

Upon his return to New Haven, with credibility from working in the South, he was able to established himself as a portrait painter, and he pursued this in his studio until 1829 when he visited England and France and was joined by Samuel F.B. Morse and Ithiel Town.  After they visited Paris, Jocelyn returned to New Haven and his portrait painting. He also became involved in a movement to abolish slavery and devoted much attention to the engraving business N. and S. S. Jocelyn, he had started with his father.

From 1843 to 1847, he had a portrait studio in New York City, and filled commissions there as well as in New Haven. He also began exhibiting regularly at the National Academy of Design, where he became a member in 1846. However, after the burning of his New Haven studio in 1849 he gave up painting there and joined the NYC banknote engraving firm of Toppan, Carpenter & Company.

With his nephew, Simeon Starr Jocelyn, he founded in 1854 the firm of Jocelyn, Draper, Welsh & Co., New York, and a branch of Draper, Welsh & Co. in Philadelphia. Both Jocelyns went with this firm into the American Bank Note Company in 1858.

Nathaniel Jocelyn retired in 1864 and died at New Haven on January 13, 1881.

Jonathan P. Harding, "Nathaniel Jocelyn", Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, 1826-1925, David Dearinger, Editor.
Groce & Wallace, The New York Historical Society's Dictionary of Artists in America"
Peter Hastings Falk, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art

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