Chester Harding (painter)

Chester Harding (September 1, 1792 – April 1, 1866) was an American portrait painter.

Chester Harding photograph c.1860-1865
Chester Harding, c. 1860–1865


Harding was born at Conway, Massachusetts. Brought up in the wilderness of New York state, he was a lad of robust physique, standing over 6 feet 3 inches. His family removed to Caledonia, New York, when he was fourteen years old, and he was early thrown upon his own resources for support, his initial trade being that of a turner. In the War of 1812, he marched as a drummer with the militia to the St Lawrence. He became subsequently chairmaker, peddler, inn-keeper, and house-painter, painting signs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked at this latter occupation a year, when acquaintance with a traveling portrait painter led him to attempt that art. Having succeeded in producing a crude portrait of his wife, he devoted himself enthusiastically to the profession.

He painted several other portraits at Pittsburg, and then went to Paris, Kentucky, where he finished 100 portraits in six months at $25 each. He made enough money to take him to the schools at the Philadelphia Academy of Design. He then established himself in St. Louis, and eventually went on the road as an itinerant portrait painter. In August 1823, he went to England and set up a studio in London, and spent three years in studying and painting. He met with great success, painting royalty and the nobility, and, despite the lackings of an early education and social experience, he became a favorite in all circles.

James Madison by Chester Harding (1829) IMG 4295
Harding's painting of James Madison (1829)

On his return to the United States in 1826, he settled in Boston, initially residing in Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, in what became known as the Chester Harding House, a National Historic Landmark which now houses the Boston Bar Association. He stayed there until 1830. In 1843, he went to England again, and afterward resided in Springfield, Massachusetts, spending his winters frequently in St. Louis or in some of the southern cities. In 1828 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Honorary Academician.

He painted portraits of many of the prominent men and women of his time. Among the people who sat for him were James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, John Marshall, Nicholas Brown, Jr., Dudley Leavitt Pickman, Charles Carroll, William Wirt, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Washington Allston, the Dukes of Norfolk, Hamilton, and Sussex, Samuel Rogers, and Sir Archibald Allison. Harding is the only known painter who painted Daniel Boone from life.[1] His last work was a portrait of Gen. William T. Sherman. His portrait of Daniel Webster went to the Bar Association of New York, and that of John Randolph to the Corcoran Gallery at Washington, D.C.

Chester Harding died in Boston on April 1, 1866 and is buried in Springfield Cemetery in Springfield.[2]

He wrote My Egotistography, which was privately printed.

See also


  1. ^ "Brown University Portrait Collection". Retrieved 2015-12-20.
  2. ^ Chester Harding at Find a Grave


Further reading

  • Leah Lipton. "The Boston Artists' Association, 1841–1851." American Art Journal, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Autumn, 1983), pp. 45–57.

Image gallery

Harding Mrs Blake

Sarah Stanton Blake (Mrs. Joshua Blake)

Unfinished portrait of Daniel Boone by Chester Harding 1820

Daniel Boone (unfinished)

U. S. Senator James Lanman

U. S. Senator James Lanman

BenjaminPickman ca1843 byChesterHarding MFABoston.jpeg

Benjamin Pickman, Salem, Massachusetts

External links

Chester Harding

Chester Harding may refer to:

Chester Harding (painter), American artist

Chester Harding (governor), Governor of Panama Canal Zone

Chester Harding House, historic house in Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Hannah Adams

Hannah Adams (October 2, 1755 – December 15, 1831) was an American author of books on comparative religion and early United States history. She was born in Medfield, Massachusetts and died in Brookline. Adams was the first woman in the U.S. who worked professionally as a writer.She was the second of five children born to Thomas Adams and Elizabeth Clark. Born in "humble obscurity" in a remote country town, in part self-educated, she lived at a time when a learned woman in New England was a rarity. Suffering from ill-health, often poor and obliged to resort to various occupations for her sustenance, she doggedly pursued her studies. Her father, educated at Harvard College, kept a small country store, dealing among other things in books. He also boarded some students of divinity, from whom the daughter learned Greek and Latin, which she subsequently taught.Her first work A View of Religions, was published in 1784, and a second and enlarged edition in 1791. The emolument she derived from this not only placed her in a comfortable situation, but enabled her to pay the debts she had contracted during her and her sister's illness, and to lend a small sum at interest. In 1799, she published A Summary History of New-England. In gathering materials for this work, among old manuscripts, she seriously impaired her eyesight, and had to employ an amanuensis to prepare the copy for the printers. Her most elaborate work, The History of the Jews since the destruction of Jerusalem, was in 1818 reprinted in London, at the expense and for the benefit of the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews. She started an autobiography, which was published after her death by Hannah Farnham Sawyer Lee. During the later years of her life, she enjoyed a comfortable annuity, raised by her friends.

List of painters in the Art Institute of Chicago

The List of painters in the Art Institute of Chicago is a list of the artists indexed in the Art Institute of Chicago website whose works in their collection were painted. The museum's collections are spread throughout eight buildings in Chicago, and not all works are on display. The entire collection houses over 300,000 objects, thousands of which are on view at any given time, and only 2,382 of these are paintings. In the following list, the painter's name is followed by the number of their paintings in the collection, with a link to all of their works available on the Artic website. For artists with more than one type of work in the collection, or for works by artists not listed here, see the Artic website or the corresponding Wikimedia Commons category. Of artists listed, less than 10% are women.

For the complete list of artists and their artworks in the collection, see the website.

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