Daniel Huntington

(4 October 1816 - 19 April 1906)

Born in New York, son of Benjamin Huntington, Jr. and Faith Trumbull Huntington; his paternal grandfather was Benjamin Huntington, delegate at the Second Continental Congress and first U.S. Representative from Connecticut.

He studied at Yale with Samuel F.B. Morse, and later with Henry Inman. From 1833 to 1835 he transferred to Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he met Charles Loring Elliott, who encouraged him to become an artist. He first exhibited his work at the National Academy of Design in 1836. Subsequently he painted some landscapes in the tradition of the Hudson River School. Huntington made several trips to Europe, the first in 1839 traveling to England, Rome, Florence and Paris with his friend and pupil Henry Peters Gray. On his return to America in 1840, he painted his allegorical painting "Mercy's Dream", which brought him fame and confirmed his interest in inspirational subjects. He also painted portraits and began the illustration of The Pilgrim's Progress. In 1844, he went back to Rome. Returning to New York around 1846, he devoted his time chiefly to portrait-painting, although he painted many genre, religious and historical subjects. From 1851 to 1859 he was in England. He was third president of the National Academy of Design from 1862 to 1870, and again in 1877-1890. He was also vice president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Huntington, Daniel, N. A. Born in New York, 1816. Studied under Professor Morse in 1835, and later under Inman. Went to Florence in 1839, where he painted his "Florentine Girl" and "The Sibyl." At Rome he produced his "Early Christian Prisoner" and "The Shepherd Boy." After painting portraits for some years in New York, he returned to Rome in 1844, when he executed his "Sacred Lesson," "Black Penitents," and others. At an exhibition of his works in New York in 1850, which attracted some attention, were his "Bar-Room Politician," "Woodland Scene," "Little Falls," "Coast near Newport," "Swiss Lake," "Recollections of Italy," "Christiana and her Children," "Mercy's Dream," "Almsgiving," " Piety and Folly," "Henry VIII. and Catherine Parr," etc. He was elected a member of the National Academy in 1840, and President in 1862, holding that office until he was succeeded by Henry Peters Gray in 1869. He was again elected in 1877.

Among the more important of Huntington's portraits are those of
President Lincoln (in the Union League Club, New York)
Chancellor Ferris (New York University)
Eastlake (New York Historical Society)
R. B. Minturn (St. Luke's Hospital, New York)
Mayors Dunne, Varick, and Livingstone (the City Hall, New York)
George T. Trimble (the New York Hospital)
Dr. Alonzo Clark (the College of Medicine)
President Van Buren (the State Library, Albany, N. Y.)
William H. Appleton
James Lennox
Robert C. Winthrop
John Taylor Johnston
Bishop Whipple
Rev. Morgan Dix
Bishop Potter, etc.

Among his later works are,
"Science and Christian Art" belonging to Robert Hoe (N. A., 1869)
"Sowing the Word" 1869
"Juliet on the Balcony" 1870
"Narrows, Lake George" 1871
"Clement VII."
"Charles V. at Bologna" 1874
"Republican Court" (property of A. T. Stewart) was at the Paris Exposition of 1867
"Sowing the Word" (belonging to Anson P. Stokes)
"Titian and Charles V.," commended by judges and others; American Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia 1876
"Columbus" owned by James Lennox
"Venice" M. O. Roberts
"Old Lawyer" and others.
"The Cromwellian" was in J. T. Johnston's collection.
"Philosophy and Christian Art" and "A Portrait of a Lady"; Paris Exposition of 1878

"Few of our painters have exhibited greater versatility of talent, or more broad and pure artistic sympathies. He has great skill and fine feeling in landscape. His figures generally have the roundness which distinguishes several of the best Italian masters, and his tints are subdued and harmonized like many of the favorite pictures both of the Roman and the Tuscan schools. A striking merit in his compositions is their simplicity." -- Tuckerman's Book of the Artists.

"Huntington is said to be a thoughtful, quiet painter, and a sincere, unassuming man. In historical and genre pictures he is understood to rely on his intelligent and sometimes highly wrought transfer of a scene to canvas. In his portraits truth and simplicity are reckoned his conspicuous merits. His execution is considered good, though subdued." -- Mrs. Tytler's Modern Painters.

Artists of the Nineteenth Century & their Works. Clara Erskine Clement and Laurence Hutton, 1879.

Birth: Oct. 14, 1816, New York, USA
Death: Apr. 18, 1906, New York, USA
As a descendant of two Mayflower passengers, William Brewster and John Alden, and the grandson of two famous Huntingtons, paternal-grandson of Benjamin Huntington, Senior who had been a Connecticut delegate to the Continental Congress, and also as a maternal-grandson of Revolutionary War Brigadier-General Jedediah Huntington, he was born into a privileged and highly respected family. Huntington began his formal study of art in the 1830s, and graduated from Hamilton College in 1836. In 1839, he went to Italy where he studied and lived in Florence and Rome. Upon his return to his native New York City, he began to establish his reputation as one of the most preeminent painters of portraits in nineteenth century America. Most notatably, he was commissioned to paint portraits of President Abraham Lincoln, President Martin Van Buren, journalist and poet William Cullen Bryant, and former Confederate States President Jefferson Davis.

Huntington belonged to the art movement known as The Hudson River School. Not limited to portraits alone, he often exhibited works depicting historical events and religious themes to great acclaim both in America and in Europe. He served as president of the National Academy of Design from 1862 to 1870 and from 1877 to 1890, and was also a trustee and vice-president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1870 to 1903.
Spouse: Harriet Sophia Richards Huntington (1821-1893)
Inscription: "Daniel Huntington 1816-1906."
Burial: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, USA
Find A Grave Memorial

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