Portrait of Randal Davies, James Thomas Poindexter (100308_039)

Portrait of Randal Davies

Artist: James Thomas Poindexter (1832-1891)

Oil on canvas

Image size 30” x 25” (framed 37” x 32”)

Ref. No. 100308_039


This oil of a five-year-old boy from Hopkinsville, Kentucky is signed to viewer’s lower left J T Poindexter pinxt 1853. Fortunately, Poindexter received this commission as a 21 year old artist and had yet altered his style of painting to conform to the morbid rigidity of photography, which he was soon to embrace.

The frame is a period replacement of the later frame found on the painting. The painting was formerly under glass, which has kept the surface clean with no significant losses or well-intentioned housecleaning exercises. There is a two-inch stabilized horizontal tear inside the subject’s right wrist, which can be observed in detail by placing your cursor on the image. There is another small, stabilized puncture below the subject’s left elbow. There is no inpainting or other condition issues. This work is in an extraordinary state of preservation. An attractive young person with a pleasant expression painted in the flat style of the folk art tradition is seldom encountered among Kentucky antebellum portraiture.