William Joseph Weaver (1759-1817) Anglo-American
Portrait of John James Stewart
Oil on mahogany panel
Condition: Excellent condition, very minor scattered in-paint along edges of panel. Possibly in original frame.
25 7/8″ x 19 15/16″; 31 ½” x 25 ¼” framed
Provenance: Private Collection, Maine to 2014; Jeffrey Tillou Antiques, Litchfield, CT 2000; Private dealer Leo Wolensky, Wurtsboro, NY circa 1989; by descent in the family of the original owners, the Hopkins-Stewart Family.
Literature: Paul D. Schweizer. The “Strong and Striking” Likenesses of William J. Weaver (c. 1759-1817): An Introduction. MESDA. Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts. November 1992. Vol. XVII, 2., p. 29
Expertise: Two letters from the William Joseph Weaver expert, Dr. Paul D. Schweizer, dated 1989 and 2001 accompany the painting.
Commissioned around 1800, this painting is believed to depict a young and dashing John James Stewart. Young Stewart is shown in fashionable attire seated in the drawing room of his upstate New York house. The room is a lovely rich moss green color and features a large sash window overlooking land and mountains in the distance. James is comfortably seated on a mahogany shield-back chair next to a Pembroke table. The table has bundled land maps on it as well as writing instruments. One of the sitter’s shoes rests on a fine moss green wool carpet embellished with an all-over rose medallion pattern. Weaver conveys Stewart’s status as a cultivated, learned gentleman of taste and refinement with significant land holdings, a fine residence and fine appearance with subtlety and grace.
Paintings by the American portraitist William Joseph Weaver are exceedingly rare. This oil on panel portrait is thought to depict John James Stewart (1783-1843) fourth son of the colonial merchant James A. Stewart and his Schermerhorn wife. The Stewarts were an important and well-connected American family. A. T. Stewart, known as “The Merchant Prince” a later descendent, was the owner of New York City’s first department store.
Dimensions: 25 7/8 x 19 15/16 inches 31 ½ x 25 ¼ inches (outside frame dimensions)
Item ID: WoA-AMP-OWP 015