Sully, Thomas

Sully, Thomas,

1783–1872, American painter, b. England. Having come to the United States as a child, he first studied with his brother Lawrence, a miniaturist, and later for a brief time with Gilbert Stuart. During a year (1809–10) in England he came under the influence of Benjamin West and Sir Thomas Lawrence. In 1810 he settled in Philadelphia, where he quickly became the leading portrait painter. On a second trip to England he was commissioned to paint the young Queen Victoria. Known chiefly as a portraitist, Sully also painted noteworthy historical compositions, such as Washington's Passage of the Delaware (Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston). His elegant and romantic portraits are to be found in many collections. Typical of his works are Mother and Son and a sketch of Queen Victoria (both: Metropolitan Mus.) and portraits of Fanny Kemble (Pa. Acad. of the Fine Arts), Andrew Jackson (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.), and Presidents Jefferson and Monroe (U.S. Military Acad., West Point, N.Y.). He wrote a treatise on painting, Hints to Young Portrait Painters (1873, repr. 1965).


See studies by C. H. Hart (1909) and T. Biddle and M. Fielding (1921).

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Sully, Thomas

(1783–1872) painter; born in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, England. He and his family emigrated to Charleston, South Carolina (1792); he received art instruction from family members and began his portrait painting career (1801) in Richmond and Norfolk, Va. He worked with Gilbert Stuart in Boston (1807), moved to Philadelphia (1808), and studied with Benjamin West in London (1809), where he was influenced by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Returning to Philadelphia (1810), he painted technically polished and elegant portraits, such as Fanny Kemble as Beatrice (1833), and was often compared to Gilbert Stuart.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thoroughly researched information on a topic of importance to conservators and yet relatively neglected, this study offer analysis of materials and techniques used by painters including Benjamin West, Gilbert Stuart, Washington Allston, Thomas Sully, Thomas Cole, and William Sidney Mount, among others.
LIKE Sully, Thomas, Carroll League Division Two leaders Rogerstone surprisingly lost at home, leaving new table toppers Blackwood as the league's only unbeaten first team.