(American, c. 1707-1752)
Oil on canvas
Framed: 141.5 x 117.5 x 7.5 cm (55 11/16 x 46 1/4 x 2 15/16 in.); Unframed: 127 x 101.5 cm (50 x 39 15/16 in.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1919.1006
Called "the greatest merchant on this Continent" in his obituary, Apthorp helped transform Boston into one of the key commercial centers in the American colonies. When the fashionable painter Feke came to town, Apthorp commissioned this elegantly tailored and confidently posed likeness of himself. The sailing ship in the distant background symbolizes Apthorp’s deep financial interests in the Atlantic trade, which included not only products such as textiles, wine, and guns, but also human commodities in the form of slaves. In fact, the slave trade and its attendant commerce comprised a significant portion of colonial Boston’s economy until the decades after the Revolutionary War, when anti-slavery attitudes in New England gained momentum.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email email@example.com.