Portrait of a Young Boy
On View In:
Gallery 304
Artist:   attributed to Samuel Miller  
Title:   Portrait of a Young Boy  
Date:   c. 1835  
Medium:   Oil on canvas  
Dimensions:   33 9/16 x 27 1/2 in. (85.25 x 69.85 cm) (canvas) 34 3/4 x 40 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. (88.27 x 103.51 x 9.53 cm) (outer frame)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Arnold Whitcomb Morse in memory of his parents Guilford Alden and Isabel Barton Morse  
Location:   Gallery 304  

This portrait of an unidentified little boy wearing appropriate dress for the 1830s, including pantaloons and black slippes, incorporates many of the attributes associated with the Boston portrait painter, Samuel Miller. Of the twenty or more portraits ascribed to Miller, the majority are full-length portraits of children who are portrayed frontally in a stiff, flatly delineated fashion. Miller enhanced his compositions through the use of bold colors, and engaging ambient details, such as family pets and pots of flowers, all of which are present in our painting. The fact that the little boy is listening to his father's gold pocket watch from which a gold chain with watch fob in the form of a pistol is suspended may suggest that it is a posthumous portrait, as his time has run out - tempus fugit.

Name:   Miller, Samuel  
Nationality:   American  
Life Dates:   American, 1807 - 1853  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Sticker [BROWN], on sticker, upper right corner of frame on back  
Classification:   Paintings  
Physical Description:   Portrait. American Folk art. Little boy wearing blue dress, white pantaloons and black shoes holding a watch on a long chain up to his proper right ear; dog behind boy on his proper right side and pot of flowers on his proper left side.  
Creation Place:   North America, United States, New England, ,  
Accession #:   98.239  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts