Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0723
Rare Oil on Canvas Portrait Painting of a young Boy. Attributed to Arthur Armstrong, Circa. 1832. (Lancaster, PA, 1798-1851). Arthur Armstrong was born in Manor Township, 1798. In 1820 he advertised as a teacher and painter from his shop in Marietta, though at this time he probably had minimal training as an artist. He married Harriet Wentz in 1827 and later moved to Lancaster City. His family included three members of the Continental Congress and two Revolutionary War generals, including John Armstrong, Jr., who served as Secretary of War in the cabinet of James Madison. The earliest record of his presence in Lancaster is on July 8th, 1829 when the Mechanics Society of Lancaster was organized and marked Armstrong down as its first treasurer. His studio was well established in the city by 1831. It was located on Orange Street and had a room above to serve as a gallery. After 1849, Armstrong relocated his studio and gallery to Mechanics Institute, or Mechanics Hall in Lancaster City. Armstrong was known as a portrait, landscape and historic painter. He also painted signs and banners and made gilded frames as well. Armstrong's training as a painter remains somewhat ambiguous. Armstrong's paintings become more prolific and refined by 1840 and compared to an early painting of his friend, John J. Libhart (1826), would suggest he received some kind of artistic training in the 1830s. It is not known with whom he studied though he most likely traveled to Philadelphia during this time and could have received instruction from esteemed painter Thomas Sully. Many of his painting bear striking resemblance to Sully's works. When Armstrong himself became a teacher, he had many pupils, one of which was John Henry Brown who became a prominent miniature painter. His paintings exhibit many of the features of contemporary art including the red upholstered seats common among central Pennsylvania painters and his style is comparable to Jacob Eichholtz of Lancaster. From Armstrong's entire career, 36 portraits and family groups, one landscape, and one historical painting are accounted for. Sources: Loan exhibition of historical and contemporary portraits illustrating the evolution of portraiture in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. New Era Printing Co., Lancaster, Pa, 1912. "Arthur Armstrong, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Painter", in Antiques. Irwin Richmond and Ruth Arnold. August, 1980. Pg., 290-295. Local Legacies, a Perspective on art in Chester and Lancaster Counties Pennsylvania 1776-1999, Daphne S. Landis. Arthur Armstrong Lancaster Painter, 1798-1851. Ruth Arnold and Irwin Richman. Journal v.82 no.2 1978. Pgs. 61-93. Contributed by Alison Shannon. LancasterHistory.org. Oval portrait depicting a half torso of a young boy. Image 19-1/2" x 26-1/2", in a period gilt molded frame, 36" x 23" overall. Condition: Painting is good with minor wear and a small tear above boys head. Frame has losses and repairs.


Condition: Painting is good with minor wear and a small tear above boys head. Frame has losses and repairs.

Buyer's Premium

  • 23%

Rare Oil on Canvas Portrait of a young Boy.

Estimate $2,000 - $4,000May 19, 2018