James Butler Campbell, Jr.

Artist Details

Name: Charles Fraser
Birth: 1782 Death: 1860
Nationality: American

Artwork Details

Date of Work: 1845
Medium: watercolor on ivory
Dimensions: 4 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches
Credit: Gift of Anna Bell Bruns

Conceived as personal mementos and tokens of affection, miniature portraits are handheld paintings generally created with watercolor paint on thin sheets of ivory. In nineteenth-century Charleston, native-born artist Charles Fraser dominated miniature portrait painting.

Two interpretations regarding James Campbell’s portrait by Fraser exist: that the boy died shortly after the portrait was painted; or that the portrait actually is a posthumous likeness. In his account book Fraser noted “Mr. Campbell’s son from a bust . . . $50,” which may indicate that the boy was already deceased.

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