Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Asahel Lynde Powers - American Painter, 1813 to 1843

Asahel Lynde Powers was born on February 28, 1813, in Springfield, Vermont. Powers began his painting career at a young age. At 18 years old, Powers was already well-known . Many of his earliest painting were made in the Springfield, Vermont area. The portrait of Dr. Joel Green of Rutland, Vermont (seen below) on display at the SAHS, is among the earliest known signed and dated painting by Powers. The portrait of Dr. Green was loaned to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, located in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1973 and was displayed during their exhibit of early American primitive painters. The painting was loaned again in 200_ to the Southern Vermont Arts Center, located in Manchester, Vermont for a similar exhibition.

Dr Joel Green of Rutland, Vt, 1831 by Asahel Lynde Powers (American, 1813-1843), SAHS collection. The painting is on permanent display at the SAHS along with paintings of the Chase family, also by Powers.

Like many early 19th century American paintings, Powers' early works were oil on wide wood  panels. All five of the Powers paintings owned by the SAHS are done on wood panels. As a traveling artist, Powers eventually switched to canvas as canvas would have been far more portable than heavy wooden panels. His early work is known for its strong outlines, colorful details and facial delineation.  The clothing and accessories of the sitters are painted with a bold hand. Powers experimented with different colors in the backgrounds of his paintings throughout his career which helps in dating his work as many of his portraits were not signed or dated.

Powers traveled throughout Vermont and New York painting his portraits. In 1840 his was living in New York with his wife, Elizabeth M. Powers. Powers later moved to Illinois where he died in 1843.

Two paintings sold by Peggy McClard Antiques Americana & Folk Art (seen below) are of Daniel Griswold and his daughter and Louisa Griswold Field, both of Springfield, Vermont. The green dress worn by Louisa is believed to be her wedding dress. She married Abner Field of Springfield on February 16, 1832 and together they had four children. Louisa died in Springfield on August 15, 1884. Powers painted her when she was about 27 years old, her father was 73.

Louisa Griswold Field age 27 of Springfield, Vt

Daniel Griswol, age 73, of Springfield, Vt

Below is portrait a of handsome young gentleman believed to have been painted by Powers in the 1830s.

Portrait of a Young Gentleman. Unsigned. Oil on poplar panel, c. 1830. Attributed to Asahel Lynde Powers. Sold by Skinner Inc.

Eliza Ann Farrar by Asahel Lynde Powers

For additional information on Asahel Lynde Powers:
Art Blog - It's About Time

Little, Nina Fletcher, Asahel Powers-Painter of Vermont Faces.  The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1973.  Plates 37 & 38, pages 38-39. 

"Seeing America:painting and sculpture from the collection of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester"

No comments:

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...