|Title||[Portrait of John Totten]|
Oil painting on canvas. Portrait of John Totten by artist John Bradley. Signed and dated lower right: "I. Bradley Fecit 1834". Inscribed on reverse: "John Totten / Aged 63 Years 1834 / Drawn by I. Bradley / From Great Britton."
(Keywords: New York, Folk Art)
|Ownership and History||
Known as the "Squire," John Totten (1771-1846) of Tottenville, Staten Island, was a landholder of substantial means, active in church and civic affairs. In 1834, five members of the Totten family sat for portraits by artist John Bradley: John Totten; his wife Ann Cole Totten; 2 of their 12 children, John and Abraham Cole Totten (ages 33 and 30); and Abraham's wife, Mary Ann Brackett Totten (age 22). All 5 Tottens are seated in painted and stenciled Hitchcock type chairs, and all include amusing bits of still-life detail, such as the green baize covered table, calipers, inkstand with quill pen, french curve and writing paper found in John Totten's portrait.
Portrait painter John Bradley was born in Great Britain and immigrated to United States. He was active in the New York City area from 1832 to 1847. Bradley's peculiar mannerism of outlining faces and hands with white, giving them a strangely luminous quality, is particularly noticeable in the portraits of this group.
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