Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-1867)
Colored chalk, pastel, and touches of black crayon on beige paper
Overall: 17 7/8 x 13 3/4 in. ( 45.4 x 34.9 cm ) mat: 24 1/4 x 17 5/8 in. ( 61.6 x 44.8 cm )
inscription: lower right, on mat: "1807 Nathaniel Parker Willis-1870/(American Poet + Author 1833/by/Samuel Laurence, London/1811-1884"
Old mat no longer extant reportedly inscribed: "1807 Nathaniel Parker Willis -- 1870 / (American Poet & Author) 1833 / by / Samuel Laurence, London / 1811-1884"
A native of Portland, Maine, the subject eventually settled in New York where he pursued a literary career. In 1831 the editor of the New York "Mirror" sent him to tour Europe and write about his experiences. The letters, later collected in "Pencillings by the Way" (1844), made Willis a literary celebrity by the time he returned. This portrait was drawn while Willis was in England in 1834-36.
Purchase, Louis Durr Fund
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.