A Portrait of David Baldwin

At the end of the eighteenth century photography was not yet invented. You had to turn to a painter if you wanted to extend the time and space in which you were known and respected. So, this is what the prominent Connecticut merchant and civic leader David Baldwin did in 1790. He turned to the painter Ralph Earl (1751-1801). He had himself portrayed with all the attributes of a wealthy fashionable educated man.

David Baldwin obviously made all the right choices. His portrait is 220 years later still on show, now at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. ... I wonder how many of the pictures we see these days will survive such a long time.

Photo: Portrait of David Baldwin (1790), by Ralph Earl, at High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

Photo: Portrait of David Baldwin (1790), by Ralph Earl, at High Museum of Art in Atlanta.