John Greenwood (artist)
John Greenwood (1727–1792) was an early American portrait painter and engraver.
Greenwood was born on 7 December 1727 in Boston, Massachusetts, and baptized on 10 December in the Old North Church, Boston. He was the son of Samuel Greenwood (1690–1742), a Harvard graduate (1709) and merchant, and his second wife, Mary Charnock Devereux. His father died insolvent in 1742 and at about this time Greenwood apprenticed to Thomas Johnston, a Boston line engraver, sign painter, and japanner. According to his son's later account, Greenwood soon left Johnston's studio in order to pursue portraiture. He left Boston in 1752 and traveled to the Dutch colony of Surinam in northeast South America. He stayed there for over five years, during which time he executed 115 portraits, before traveling again, this time to Europe, arriving in Amsterdam in May 1758. He settled there for a time to learn the art of making mezzotints, and was documented as a member of the Amsterdam Drawing Academy in 1758 by Jacob Otten Husly. After leaving Amsterdam, Greenwood stayed in Paris, then London, where he eventually settled in 1764.
One of Greenwood's best known works is Sea Captains Carousing in Surinam (1755), a drunken scene featuring various prominent Rhode Island merchants, including Declaration of Independence signatory Stephen Hopkins, Governor Joseph Wanton, Admiral Esek Hopkins, and Governor Nicholas Cooke.
Greenwood died while on a visit to Margate, Kent on the 16th of September, 1792, and is buried there.
|1751||Portrait of Richard Waldron, oil on wood||view||Historic New England, Boston, Massachusetts||Subject: Richard Waldron (1694–1753); prominent merchant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Secretary of colonial New Hampshire; son of Colonel Richard Waldron (1650–1730); husband of Elizabeth Westbrook (1701–1758; m. 1718).|
|1751||Portrait of Mrs. Richard Waldron, oil on wood||view||Historic New England, Boston, Massachusetts||Subject: Elizabeth Westbrook (1701–1758); daughter of Colonel Thomas Westbrook (1675–c. 1744) and Mary Sherburne; wife of Richard Waldron (1694–1753; prominent merchant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; m. 1718). [At times, this painting has erroneously been attributed to Joseph Blackburn. IAP 80970121 and IAP 81840242|
|1750||Portrait of Thomas Westbrook Waldron (c. 1750), oil on wood||view||Historic New England, Boston, Massachusetts||Subject: Captain Thomas Westbrook Waldron (1721–1785); prominent merchant in Dover, New Hampshire; husband of Constance Davis; father of eight children (William, Richard, Charles, Daniel, and daughters Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Abigail). [At times, this painting has erroneously been attributed to Joseph Blackburn.] IAP 80970122 and 81840243|
|Portrait of Mrs. Mary Fitch Cabot, oil on canvas||view||Historic New England, Boston, Massachusetts||Subject: Mary Fitch (1724–1756); wife of Francis Cabot; mother of Susanna (1754–1777; wife of Judge John Lowell, 1743–1802).|
|Portrait of an unknown man, oil on canvas||view||Historic New England, Boston, Massachusetts|
- "ODNB Greenwood, John (1727–1792)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/11438.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Harvard Art Museums; Stebbins, Theodore E; Renn, Melissa (2014). American Paintings at Harvard: Volume 1: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born Before 1826. New Haven: Yale University Press.
- Biography of John Greenwood in Roeland van Eynden and Adriaan van der Willigen's Geschiedenis der Vaderlandsche Schilderkunst, 1840, Vol. II, p. 202 (reprint 1979)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Greenwood.|
- "A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States" By William Dunlap, Frank William Bayley, Charles Eliot Goodspeed (Boston: 1918 C.E. Goodspeed)
- John Singleton Copley in America, a full text exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which contains material on John Greenwood (see index)