Artist
Charles Willson Peale
American painter

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Charles Willson Peale
American painter
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Birth Date

April 15, 1741

Death Date

February 22, 1827

Arty Fact

ebrowne's picture

Contributor

Charles Willson Peale was a man of many, many interests and therefore was a solidly mediocre soldier, scientist, inventor, politician, naturalist, writer, saddler, watchmaker, carpenter, dentist, optometrist, silversmith, shoemaker, and taxidermist.

The only thing he wasn’t mediocre at was painting and baby making, as he had 17 children…(Yikes). And to prove his love of the arts, he named his children after great painters that came before him, such as Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Angelica Kauffman, and Titian. He obviously didn’t consider the fact that his children would be brutally bullied for their names…especially poor little Sophonisba Angusciola.

Along with his obviously very loving relationship with his wives (he was married three times) he had a great love of painting and was famous for his portraits of icons like George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin etc. One of his many portrait of Washington sold at auction for $21.3 million dollars, the highest price ever paid for an American portrait. Bummer he sucked at finance though and didn’t have nearly that kind of money while he was alive. That would have really cushioned his more expensive hobbies…like the museum that he started but was forced to sell. It was the first one in America, too!

You’re probably thinking, “WTF did Peale not do?” Well, he didn’t really take care of his children, which is why he remarried within a year of his first wife’s death. He just didn’t know what to do with his copious amounts of offspring and was obviously too busy to figure it out...what with all that important saddling and shoemaking calling his name.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Charles Willson Peale

Charles Willson Peale (April 15, 1741 – February 22, 1827) was an American painter, soldier, scientist, inventor, politician and naturalist. He is best remembered for his portrait paintings of leading figures of the American Revolution, and for establishing one of the first museums in the United States.

Early life

Peale was born in 1741 between modern-day Queenstown and Centreville, Queen Anne's County, Maryland, the son of Charles Peale and his wife Margaret. He had a younger brother, James Peale (1749–1831). He was the brother-in-law of Nathaniel Ramsey, a delegate to the Congress of the Confederation.

Charles became an apprentice to a saddle maker when he was fourteen years old. Upon reaching maturity, he opened his own saddle shop and joined the Sons of Liberty. However, he was unsuccessful in saddle making. He then tried fixing clocks and working with metals, but both of these endeavors failed as well. He then took up painting.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Charles Willson Peale.