Edward Richardson Jr., Self Portrait

Image of Oil painting on canvas, Edward Richardson Jr., self-portrait
Oil painting on canvas, 1850

When the 1850s United States Census counted Edward Richardson Jr.'s family, newly arrived from England, they indicated his father, Edward, was a wagon maker; his brother, John, a clerk; and Edward Jr. as a portrait painter.

Edward Jr. worked as an artist in Springfield, Illinois, from 1850 until his death in 1858 at the age of 31. He advertised himself in the local newspaper as a portrait artist and decorative painter. Here, he shows himself smartly dressed, pausing momentarily from his decorative pen work to engage our attention, surrounded by the tools of his trade: easel, palette, charcoals, and paints, along with an instruction manual as a reminder that he trained as a professional artist.

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