Charles Paxton Butler
ARTIST: James Earl (1761-1796) was the younger brother of the New England artist Ralph Earl. Following the American Revolution Earl traveled to London where he studied and exhibited at the Royal Academy. In London Earl cultivated a following among the American loyalist community there. Earl remained in London until 1794 when he set sail for Charleston, South Carolina. His death two years later cut short a promising career. His obituary in the South Carolina State Gazette read, in part: “This gentleman has resided nearly two years in this city, in which time he has exhibited so many happy specimens of his art as to enable us to speak with decision of his talents. To an uncommon facility in hitting off the likeness, may be added a peculiarity in his execution of drapery, and, which has ever been esteemed in his art the ne plus ultra, of giving life to the eye and expression to every feature.”
REFERENCES: Worcester Art Museum, “James Earl” in Early American Paintings in the Worcester Art Museum. http://www.worcesterart.org/collection/Early_American/Artists/earl_j/biography/index.html
DESCRIPTION: Painting, oil on canvas, of a man facing half-left. The work is a half-length portrait. The subject has gray hair, dark gray eyes, wears a dark brown coat with a high turned-down collar, a yellow vest, and white stock at the neck.