Artist of the moment…….Charles Peale Polk



Charles Peale Polk was a member of America’s first family of artists, the Peale family. Polk specialized in painting portraits of the wealthy and elite including President George Washington.

Charles Peale Polk was born in Annapolis, Maryland in the year 1767. He was orphaned around the age of ten and went to live with uncle who introduced him to the world of art.

Many times he would make copies of his uncle’s work. He claimed to have painted George Washington nearly 60 times! Back in the days before smart phones and instagram, people had to rely on artists for great images.

Its very interesting to see look at the common features of his many portraits of George Washington. Many images have similar arm and hand positions, even backgrounds.

I saw Charles Peale Polk on the Antiques Roadshow. A style of portrait was done with glass, gold leaf, and black paint that I had never seen. In this clip the technique of Verre Eglomise is explored. An example of verre eglomise is the last picture in the gallery. This piece is even given an auction estimate in the clip:

Charles Peale Polk passed away in 1822.

He was the nephew of Charles Willson Peale. This Peale was famous for his images of presidential and political figures. He also founded some of the country’s first museums.


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