Lot Details

Lot 42
Thomas Sully
American, 1783-1872
Mrs. John Hill Wheeler and Her Two Sons, 1844
Signed with the artist's monogram TS and dated 1844 (lr)
Oil on canvas
51 x 61 3/4 inches
Provenance:
Mrs. John Hill Wheeler, Washington, DC (died 1896)
Her son, Charles Sully Wheeler (died after 1913)
His son, William D. Wheeler, Washington, DC, by 1924
His cousins (the grandchildren of Woodbury Wheeler), Clara Smallen and Captain John R. Brasel, U.S.N.R., by 1960
Gift of Captain John R. Brasel, U.S.N.R. to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1967
Literature:
Thomas Sully, register, Dreer Collection, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, lists the portrait as begun July 3 and finished July 25, 1844
Charles Henry Hart, A Register of Portraits Painted by Thomas Sully, Philadelphia, 1909, p. 178, no. 1848
Edward Biddle and Mantle Fielding, The Life and Works of Thomas Sully (1783-1872), Philadelphia: Wickersham Press, 1921, p. 317, no. 1959
John Caldwell and Oswaldo Rodriguez Roque, American Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volume I: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born by 1815, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994, pp. 357-359, illus p. 358

This tender portrait of a young mother with her two little boys is especially significant in Sully's oeuvre in that it depicts the artist's own daughter, Ellen Oldmixon Sully (1816-1896) with her two sons, Charles Sully Wheeler (b. 1839) and Levi Woodbury Wheeler (1842-1900). Ellen had married John H. Wheeler, a well-known North Carolina lawyer, diplomat, and historian, on November 8th, 1838.

Sully commenced work on the painting on July 3, 1844, finishing it on July 25th. Here, Ellen Wheeler rests against a stone wall to the right, while her older son embraces her around the neck and her little boy sleeps against her legs.



C Property of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000
Sold for $17,500 (includes buyer's premium)

Additional Notes & Condition Report

Not examined out of frame. Relined.


Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Doyle New York shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging.

No condition report? Click here to request one.

Estimate: $12,000 - $18,000
Sold for $17,500 (includes buyer's premium)

Ask the Specialist Track Lot

Catalogue Info

American Paintings, Furniture & Decorative Arts

Wed, Oct 07, 2015 at 10am EDT
View All Lots