Thomas Smith (painter)
He lived in Boston and was a Puritan as evidenced by his dress and symbolism in the portrait. Smith is believed to have been influenced by Dutch Golden Age painting, based on his use of light and shadow which was manipulated to show emotion and expression in his portrait. The distant sea battle is a Baroque touch, representing the painter's earthly victories, whereas the skull represents memento mori. Smith wears Puritancal "sadd" clothing, which may represent Smith's own self-questioning and negativity.
Why Why should I the World be minding
therein a World of Evils Finding
Then Farewell World: Farewell thy Jarres
thy Joies thy Toies thy Wiles thy Warrs
Truth Sounds Retreat: I am not sorye.
The Eternal Drawes to him my heart
By Faith (which can thy Force Subvert)
To Crowne me (after Grace) with Glory.
- Hughes, Robert. American Visions. New York: Random House, 1997.
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