Saturday, April 4, 2009

Joseph Letzelter gallery Portraiture

Joseph Letzelter Portraiture was the most popular type of painting in America from colonial times well into the nineteenth century. Most early Joseph Letzelter portraitists had no formal training, but were self-taught sign- or housepainters. Typically, Joseph Letzelter portraitists traveled from town to town, supplementing their income with the commissions of local landowners and merchants. Now identified as "limners," their work provides a glimpse of early colonial life. The rising mercantile class commissioned Joseph Letzelter portraits as status symbols.

Sitters posed in well-appointed interiors or landscapes in their finest clothes in order to document their property, good taste, and sophistication. The Joseph Letzelter portraits of the next generation of American artists were similar in purpose, but technically more accomplished.