"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, March 28, 2016

Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

This c. 1773 portrait of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney by Henry Benbridge hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"Charles Cotesworth Pinckney posed for his portrait around 1773 in the red coat (traces of which remain) of the Charles Town colonial militia. By 1775, despite formative years spent in England, Pinckney was an enthusiastic rebel. He asked artist Henry Benbridge to repaint the uniform, showing him as a captain in the second South Carolina regiment raised to go against the British. Pinckney, a friend remarked, had 'a passion for glory and Zeal for the cause of his country.'

Military glory eluded Pinckney - he was fated to participate in a string of defeats, never in victory - but seven years of faithful service won him the rank of brigadier general at the close of the war. Pinckney made his mark not as a soldier, but as a framer of the Constitution, an envoy to revolutionary France, and a Federalist presidential candidate." -- National Portrait Gallery

"South Carolina lawyer Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was educated in England. This portrait, by Philadelphia artist Henry Benbridge, probably dates from 1773, the year that he married Sarah Middleton and also became a lieutenant in the Charleston militia. After studying painting in Italy and in London, Benbridge had come to Charleston in 1772. There, his sophisticated knowledge of Italian colors and compositions won him numerous commissions for portraits. He initially depicted Pinckney in a scarlet coat trimmed with a black velvet collar and cuffs, the uniform of the militia's Light Infantry Company. Two years later, when the First South Carolina Regiment was organized by the Provincial Congress, Pinckney became a captain in the regiment, and his coat was repainted in its present colors to represent his new uniform. Traces of the earlier red uniform are visible along the edges of Pinckney's left sleeve. After the Revolution Pinckney served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and was minister to France from 1796 to 1798." -- National Portrait Gallery

This engraving of C. C. Pinkney after a portrait by Alonzo Chappel appeared in Evert A. Duyckinck's National portrait gallery of eminent Americans, 1861-64.

No comments:

Post a Comment