Figure 1.--This 1805 John Brester portrait shows Francis O. Watts Jr. wearing an Empire dress. He looks to be about 3-4 years old.
John Brewster was an naive American artist. He was born in Hampton, Connecticut. He was a deaf-mute who was able to work with some success as an itinerant portraitist. He was especially noted for children's portraits. He was active in coatal areas of New England. One 1804 portrait shows a todler boy in an Empire dress.
John Brewster was born in Hampton, Connecticut. He was a deaf-mute who was able to work with some success as an itinerant portraitist. He was especially noted for children's portraits. Despite his disability, he learned to write and was thus able to communicate. communicate through writing. This gave him the ability to persue his career in painting. While still an active artist, he enrolled as a member of the first class of the Connecticut Asylum for the deaf and dumb in Hartford during 1817. As a result of his studies there he managed to learn lip reading and speech. His home in his last years was Buxton, Maine.
Brewster was active in coastal areas of New England. His portraits show considerable sensitivity. Some argue that his deafness gave him the ability to focus on his subject more than many other subjects. His early portraits were full length paintings, often of children. In the early 19th century he began moving away from large, full length portraits smaller frames showing busts.
One of Brewster's portraits done in 1804 shows a todler boy in an Empire dress. The boy is Francis O. Watts Jr. He looks to be about 3-4 years old. W know nothing more about the boy at this time. Francis is wearing a white Empire dress. This shows the influence of European fasshion.
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