The stern confidence of a hardened whaleman of the American Northeast, this inspirational and solemn portrait of Captain Abraham Russell is a unique work of art. Technically the unrecorded but highly proficient artist used period methodology regarding the somber demeanor and "all business" appearance of a man who knew the firsthand hardships of earning a living, albeit a very profitable one, at sea. The "Lost Edge" background of dark colors with a deep shadow background and a solid black edging to the silhouette gives life to his build and delivers a real sensation of the man being near and keeping watch, as much as it is to be viewed.
Long established as a popular art form, portraits reside in major estates and other collections the world over. It this case, the likelihood of voyages that took years instead of months lead to the common practice of the wealthiest whaling family having portraits commissioned of their sailing relatives. His quest of 1828 -the year the Russell Family records indicate this work was painted- was to captain the Whaleship GALATEA of New Bedford on August 4 to the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Brazil, gather almost 400 barrels of Sperm Whale oil and 1,500 barrels of whale oil and return to port on April 20, 1829. The Russell Families of New Bedford descended down from the city's principle founder, Joseph Russell the III, who named the town after the Bedford Family of England. Seth Russell, was the primary owner of GALATEA, and several of Abraham's relatives, amongst them George, Thomas, Elihu and Alexander, were New Bedford captains and owners of whale ships. Many of the historic building today are connected to members of this family, including the Sundial Building on the grounds of the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Abraham's portrait, displaced by a 20TH Century family move, would probably like to go home.
Provenance: Descended Through the Russell Family of New Bedford
to Robert Russell of Dana Point, California.
first name :