Mar 13, 2007

Samuel Williams

Samuel Williams

c. 1817

Washington Allston

(American, 1779–1843)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 172.5 x 142.5 x 14 cm (67 15/16 x 56 1/8 x 5 1/2 in.); Unframed: 142.2 x 111.8 cm (56 x 44 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1965.474

Did you know?

Allston experimented with painting recipes, even attempting to mix his pigment colors with skimmed milk.


Allston’s portrait of his London banker and business agent explores the experience of reverie. Williams looks off absently, perhaps inspired by the pictures in the book he holds. With its view of an Italianate landscape beyond the columns of this invented setting, the painting seemingly invites viewers to join the sitter in dreaming about faraway places.

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