American Paintings and Sculpture
Artist: Charles Willson Peale, American, 1741–1827

William Buckland (1734-1774)

1774, reworked 1789

Oil on canvas

27 1/2 x 36 5/8 in. (69.9 x 93 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
1934.303
Peale’s portrait of William Buckland, the Annapolis architect and builder, was begun when Buckland was in the flush of his success, having finished his architectural masterpiece, the Matthias Hammond House. Peale shows Buckland in a relaxed pose holding a drafting pen, with the architectural plans for Hammond House on the table. The imaginative symbolic background displays the base of a monumental column and an uncommon five-column portico. Peale has caught Buckland’s vigorous personality and strength of character, creating a portrait of vivacity and individuality. Buckland died unexpectedly before the portrait was finished, and Peale did not complete it until fifteen years later, at the request of the sitter’s daughter.
Culture: 
American
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Status: 
On view
Bibliography: 

Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 105, fig. 99.

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 2, 202–3, no. 107, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.