A beautifully painted miniature portrait by Elkanah Tisdale. The sitter is a handsome older man dressed in a black coat. The painting measures 2 3/4" by 2 1/4", and is in superb condition, with no chips, cracks, bowing, paint loss, or restoration. It is housed in its original gilt metal insert.
Few miniatures by Tisdale are known to exist, and with very rare exception, are, as is the case here, unsigned.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Elkanah Tisdale (1771 - 1835) was born in CT and then moved to and worked in NYC from 1794 to 1798, the year he met Benjamin Trott, who influenced Tisdale's style. By 1800, Tisdale was dividing his time between New York and Hartford, where he was a founder of the Hartford Graphic and Bank Note Engraving Company. In 1809-1810 he and Trott were in Albany, sharing a studio, after having left NYC to flee a yellow fever epidemic. He reportedly met and taught the future miniaturist Anson Dickinson in the early 1800s. From 1813 to 1818 he worked in Boston. Tisdale later settled in Hartford, CT. One of his most well-known accomplishments was the first cartoon, depicting the 1812 MA state senatorial districting under Governor Elbridge Gerry. This cartoon engendered the infamous term "gerrymander."
Tisdale’s miniatures are not common. His portraits of his parents are in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Art. He is also represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.