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Celebrity's Picture: Using Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Portraits to Observe Historic Changes

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Painting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1876

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Painting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1876 / NPS, Longfellow House-Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site

Ernest Longfellow pursued an undistinguished art career in adulthood, but he painted three portraits of his father toward the end of his life.

"Erny" recalls in his 1922 autobiography, that "In that spring (1876), before leaving for Europe, I painted a portrait of my father which the family thinks the best portrait of him ever taken. I am not very pleased with it myself, and think the one I painted on a commission for Bowdoin College after studying with Couture better."

Erny was 31 that year, and his papa was 69. (Quoted from Museum Catalog Record 4629, Craigie House/Longfellow National Historic Site.)


Item 33 of 35