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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Robert Field, circa 1794 Joseph Pitcairn (1764-1844) in grey coat"
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Pitcairn was the younger of the two children of Rev. Joseph Pitcairn and his wife, Janet (nee McCormack) of Fifeshire. He went to America and became a diplomat in 1794, in the same year Field, who had been studying at the Royal Academy, left London and went to America, where he became an incredibly sought after miniaturist. He shared living quarters with Walter Robertson and J.J. Barralet, all three were engaged in the lucrative business of making images of George Washington after Gilbert Stuart. Washington nominated Pitcairn to be the American Vice Consul in Paris. He was then appointed full Consul in Hamburg where he remained until 1802. He was a merchant and helped many American soldiers arriving in Hamburg. At the time, there were nearly one hundred American ships arriving in Hamburg every year. In 1801, he spent approximately ten dollars per sailor on medicine, board, clothing and when necessary, burial expenses. Hamburg was a free port, meeting point and spy capital for revolutionaries and French Royalists and it was there that he met and married Lady Pamela Fitzgerald in 1800. She was the widow of the Irish republican, Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1763-1798) who had been suffering from septicaemia while in hiding from the British Government, then shot and captured before dying of his wounds in Newgate Prison. Shortly after the birth of their daughter, Helen, in 1803 the couple divorced. Pamela returned to England, later marrying an American of Scottish descent in Brooklyn, while Helen remained with Joseph. He returned to America with her where he used the money he had amassed in Hamburg to buy and develop land in St. Lawrence County, New York. Two small villages there named Pitcairn and East Pitcairn were named after him. He also purchased land in Edward's Township and paid for settlers from his home county of Fifeshire to immigrate and settle there. He helped these individuals to obtain homes, land and the means for income. Field became known as one of American’s leading miniature painters. His backgrounds are generally brown in tone painted with short slanting strokes as is evident here. The white hatches highlighting the coat collars of male subjects, as is seen here, is also typical of his hand.
|Height||2.50 inch||(6.35 cm)|