Painting: "Portrait of Smith Booth"


From Wilton Historical Society

Created by
Ralph Earl
Description
This portrait, titled "Portrait of Smith Booth", was painted by Ralph Earl in 1790. Earl (1751 - 1801) was a prominent American painter who worked both in England and America. Known primarily for his portraits, Earl spent time in London after the Revolutionary War at the studio of fellow American painter Benjamin West, where he produced portraits of English royalty and nobility. He returned to America in the 1780's, and shortly thereafter was sent to prison for failure to pay debts. After his release in 1788, he continued to paint, and supported himself, his wife, and two children by traveling throughout New England painting portraits of wealthy patrons. He died in 1801, likely as a result health complications from alcoholism. Smith Booth (1764 - 1821) was born Newtown, CT, the son of Rueben Booth I and his wife Mary Smith. Booth's younger brother, Reuben Booth II had a son, Reuben Booth III, with his wife Sarah Nichols. In 1821, Reuben the third, the nephew of Smith Booth, married into the prominent Wilton the Belden's with his marriage to Jane Belden (1799 - 1844). Unfortunately, Jane died young at the age of 45, but this painting of her husband's uncle became a possession of her family. It passed through several generations until it was donated to the Society in 1984.
Dimensions
37 15/16" H X 32 1/8" W
Measurement Types: Images
Credit Line
Gift of Margaret Belden Tisdale
Accession/ID number
84.15.1