Matthew Pratt

Matthew Pratt – Self Portrait, c. 1764

Matthew Pratt (September 23, 1734 – January 9, 1805) was an American "Colonial Era" artist famous for his portraits of American men and women. He was born in Philadelphia, Province of Pennsylvania to goldsmith Henry Pratt, (1708–1748) and Rebecca Claypoole, (1711–1762) (sister of James Claypoole Sr.), he was the second of eight children born to the Pratts.[1]

ApprenticeshipEdit

He was apprenticed to his uncle, artist James Claypoole (a limner and painter) from 1745 to 1755. From his uncle he learned different aspects of portrait painting (including business acumen).[2] In 1764 he escorted his cousin, Betsey Shewell to England for her marriage to the American "expatriate" artist Benjamin West. West was gaining a distinguished reputation in England. Pratt stayed on in England for two and a half years as a pupil and colleague to West. It was during this time that he painted one of his best known works "The American School".

Back in AmericaEdit

In March 1768 he returned to America. Charles Willson Peale stated that at that time Matthew Pratt had a full-length portrait of John Dickinson and a considerable number of other works in progress. It was there that he met John Singleton Copley.[3]

Marriage and childrenEdit

In 1760 he married Elizabeth Moore, (May 4, 1739 – July 7, 1777).[3][4] Their children were:

  • Henry Charles Pratt (May 14, 1761 – 1838);
  • Charles Pratt, (September 10, 1763 – August 27, 1764);[5]
  • Charles Pratt, (February 18, 1769 – August 13, 1770);[5]
  • Mary Pratt, (July 20, 1771-?);[6]
  • Thomas Phyle Pratt, (October 1, 1773 – April 12, 1869); and,[7]
  • Elizabeth "Eliza" (née Pratt) Kugler, (August 2, 1776-?).

Later lifeEdit

Pratt announced that he was recently returned from England and Ireland and also New York. [3][8] He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 9, 1805, and is buried in Christ Church Burial Ground. (An old historic burial ground established in 1695)[9]

Oil paintings – portraitsEdit

 
Hannah Stockton Boudinot (1736–1808), by Matthew Pratt
 
William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
 
Thomas Paine by Matthew Pratt

Miniature portraitsEdit

  • T. Matthew Pratt (1790) watercolor on ivory 2 9/16" x 2 1/16" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Mrs. William Williamson (née Elizabeth Ann Timothy) (1775) watercolor and gouache on ivory 1 7/16" x 1 3/16" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Mrs. Clark (1770) watercolor on ivory 1 5/8" x 1 5/16" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museums and public galleriesEdit

The following galleries have works by Matthew Pratt:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Laura-Stump - User Trees - Genealogy.com". familytreemaker.genealogy.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Matthew Pratt, born 23 Sep 1734, died 9 Jan 1805". freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "National Gallery of Art". Archived from the original on 12 May 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Lemonhill History". Archived from the original on 8 January 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Christ Church Burial Records". Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Christ Church Records". Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  7. ^ "Thomas Phyle Pratt (1773 - 1869) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Women in American history". Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Matthew Pratt (1734 - 1805) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 17 August 2017.
  10. ^ "William Bryant - Collections Search Center, Smithsonian Institution". collections.si.edu. Retrieved 17 August 2017.