Henry Inman

(20 October 1801 - 17 January 1846)





Born in Utica, New York, Portrait, genre, and landscape painter. He displayed decided talents for art as a lad, and studied under John Wesley Jarvis in New York. He went to Europe in 1845, remaining about a year in England, painting during that period Wordsworth, Macaulay, Dr. Thomas Chalmers, and others. He numbered among his sitters in America many distinguished men, and his portraits are in the Boston Athenaeum, New York City Hall, and elsewhere throughout the country. Among his landscapes are, "Rydal Falls, England," and "October Afternoon," one of his latest works. He painted also "The News-Boy," "Rip Van Winkle," "The Boyhood of Washington," and kindred works. His "Ruins of Brambletye House," from the collection of Charles M. Leupp, at the Johnston sale in New York, 1876, was bought by William E. Dodge.

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




Portrait of the Artist's Daughter, Mary



Amongst his best works are:

PORTRAITS SUBJECTS LANDSCAPES
John James Audubon Sterne's Maria The Rains of Brambletye House
Lafayette (Albany Capitol) The Boyhood of Washington Eydal Falls
Governor Van Buren (New York City Hall) The News- Boy Dundrennan Abbey
William Wirt (Boston Athenaeum) Rip Van Winkle The Lake of the Dismal Swamp
William Penn (Independence Hall, Philadelphia) An October Afternoon
Dr. Chalmers
William Wordsworth
Lord Macaulay
Lord Cottenham


American portrait, subject, and landscape painter, was bom at Utica, New York, in 1802. He studied under J. W. Jarvis at New York, where he practised for several years, and rapidly attained eminence. In 1832 he married and settled at Philadelphia, where he had a large practice as a portrait painter. Specimens of this branch of his art are to be found in the New York City Hall, and other public buildings in America. About 1845 he visited Europe, and painted portraits of several English celebrities. He died at New York in 1846.

Bryan's Dictionary of Painters & Engravers, 1876 - Reprinted, 1894, 1899

He was born at Utica, N. Y., and was for seven years an apprentice pupil of John Wesley Jarvis in New York City, along with John Quidor. He was the first vice president of the National Academy of Design. He excelled in portrait painting, but was less careful in genre pictures. Among his landscapes are "Rydal Falls, England", "October Afternoon", and "Ruins of Brambletye". His genre subjects include "Rip Van Winkle", "The News Boy", and "Boyhood of Washington".

His portraits include those of Henry Rutgers and Fitz-Greene Halleck in the New York Historical Society. He also painted portraits of Bishop White, Chief Justices Marshall and Nelson, Jacob Barker, William Wirt, Audubon, DeWitt Clinton, Martin Van Buren, and William H. Seward. Inman painted more than 30 Native American portraits, of which nearly a dozen are in the collection of the White House. In the Metropolitan Museum, New York, are his "Martin Van Buren", "The Young Fisherman", and "William C. Maccready as William Tell".

During a year spent in England in 1844–1845, he painted Wordsworth, Macaulay, John Chambers, Sir William Stewart, Baronet of Blair and other celebrities. He returned to America in failing health, and at the time of his death, was engaged on a series of historical pictures for the Capitol at Washington.

New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.), H. T. Thurston; F. Moore, eds. (1905); en.Wikipedia.

Henry Inman, (born October 28, 1801, Utica, New York, U.S. -- died January 17, 1846, New York City), the leading American portraitist of his time. Early in his career, Inman apprenticed with the portraitist John Wesley Jarvis and then established his own portrait studio with Thomas Geir Cummings in 1822. The pair usually split their commissions, with Inman painting the oil portraits and Cummings doing the miniatures. Throughout the 1820s Inman was active in the New York City art world and was one of the founders of the National Academy of Design in 1825-26. In 1831, Inman became partners with Cephas G. Childs, an engraver and lithographer who helped Inman make prints of his portraits. Inman left this partnership in 1832, so that he could devote himself entirely to painting. He worked in New York, Philadelphia, and, in 1844, England, where his subjects included the lord chancellor (the Earl of Cottenham), William Wordsworth, Thomas Chalmers, and Lord Macaulay. Among his American subjects were President Martin Van Buren and Chief Justice John Marshall. Inman’s remarkable technical facility enabled him to work quickly and confidently, imparting to his portraits an easy, gracious quality.

© Copyright Ownership: The Encyclopædia Britannica

A prominent figure in the New York art scene of the early 19th century, American painter Henry Inman depicted well-known politicians and members of society in vast quantities matched by impeccable technical skill. After formal training as apprentice to portraitist John Wesley Jarvis, Inman established his studio in New York City and a reputation for working quickly; spanning New York, Philadelphia, and England, his sitters included President Martin Van Buren, Chief Justice John Marshall, William Wordsworth, Lord Macaulay, and upwards of 30 Native American subjects. Inman was a founding member of the National Academy of Design, and remained the vice president until 1831, when he left for Philadelphia to partner with lithographer Cephas G. Childs. In addition to romantic portraiture, Inman was acclaimed for landscapes, genre scenes, miniatures, and patriotic, spiritually charged historical subjects like "Washington’s Tomb at Mount Vernon" (1846).

© Copyright Ownership: artsy.net

Henry Inman's father was an English-born brewer who settled near Utica, New York, and it was there that the future artist was born in 1801, raised, and educated. Aside from primary schooling, Inman also received some artistic instruction in his native town from an itinerant portrait painter. After the family moved to New York City in 1812, he continued his study of drawing. His important training, however, began two years later when he was accepted for a seven-year apprenticeship by John Wesley Jarvis, at that time the premier portrait painter in New York. During the course of his term with Jarvis, Inman accompanied him on several painting trips, notably to New Orleans, and assumed responsibility for the backgrounds and drapery of his master's works. He soon learned to paint miniatures, and his first large oil portrait was executed in 1817. Consequently, by the time his apprenticeship ended in 1821, he was more than ready to launch his own career.

Inman settled in New York, marrying Jane O'Brien in 1822. Although a recent student himself, he soon took on George Twibill and Thomas S. Cummings as pupils. With the latter he formed a portrait-painting partnership which lasted until 1828. (Later he would teach William Sidney Mount, Daniel Huntington, and his master's son, Charles Wesley Jarvis.) In addition to portraits, he began painting an occasional genre picture, and eventually his catholic interests would also embrace landscape. With Cummings, Inman was instrumental in forming the National Academy of Design; in 1826 he became its first vice president. Inman became closely identified with the Academy, studying for two years in its antique school and exhibiting there every year for the rest of his life -- sometimes with as many as 18 works in a single show. Publicly visible, he became the member most often singled out for vituperative newspaper criticism by the Academy's early enemies.

Inman often contributed illustrations to gift books, but in 1831, he increased his involvement in the print industry by moving to Philadelphia, where he had set up a partnership with lithographer Cephas G. Childs a year earlier. He continued to paint portraits, however, competing with Thomas Sully for commissions in Philadelphia and making short trips to Baltimore and New York. For a time he lived on a farm that he purchased across the river from Philadelphia, in Mt. Holly, New Jersey, but in 1834, he sold his real estate and returned to New York. These years were busy for Inman, filled with teaching, large numbers of commissioned portraits, and a major project of copying over 100 paintings of Native Americans (the originals were mainly by Charles Bird King) for lithographic reproduction. The copies later traveled as a separate exhibition.

During a prosperous period, Inman had engaged in land speculation, but following the Panic of 1837, he found himself in unexpected financial difficulty. This, coupled with his chronic asthma and failing health, turned his final years into something of a struggle. In addition, a younger generation of New York portrait painters--including Huntington and Charles Loring Elliott -- was becoming increasingly popular, winning ever more commissions.

In 1844, he took a long-deferred trip to England, accompanied by a daughter. Although his health did not improve, he was able to execute a group of portraits in London and study the landscape in Scotland and northern England. He returned to New York in 1845, but following a period of two months in his sickbed, he died in 1846. Left unexecuted at his death was his commission of a large work, "The Emigration of Daniel Boone to Kentucky" for the Capitol rotunda. (He had been paid $6000, but had never moved beyond a few early studies). Inman was accorded a lengthy, ceremonial funeral procession through the streets of Manhattan, and a month later an unusual memorial exhibition of 126 of his paintings earned nearly $2000 for his widow and six children. One son, John O'Brien Inman, later became an artist.

© Copyright Ownership: National Gallery of Art, Washington

Portrait, genre painter and landscape painter, born in Utica, N.Y. Studied under Jarvis, and shortly after opening his own studio on Versey Street in 1823, was elected vice-president of National Academ of Design.



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