Artists: Wybrant (America, mid-19th century)



Figure 1.--Wybrant painted this portrait of an unidentified Massachusetts boy in 1853. He wears a black coat over a dress or skirt. The portrait is signed in the lower right-hand cirner, but unfortunatly our scan is not good enough so that it is legible. Click on the image on an enlargement of the collar.

We note a naive American artist in the mid-1850s. He signed his name Wybrant with some variations . We are not sure what his proper name was or if that was his last name. Wybrant was a rather elusive watercolor portrait artist that painted out of Gloucester in the 1850s. He appears to have emigrated from Britain. There are only a few known portraits. Here we have a portrait of an unidentified boy, presumably from the Boston area. The portrait was painted in 1853. Its hard to tell age from these naive portraits, but would guess a boy of about 6 years of age. He wears a black coat over a dress or skirt. Notice that the skirt is pleated. He has a modest lace collar and bow. He holds what looks like a broad-brimmed hat. He also wears pantalettes, long white stockings, and boot-like shoes.

Wybrant

We note Wybrant/Wybrants, a naive American artist in the mid-1850s. He signed his name Wybrant with some variations. The signatures often read, "Wybrant Artist" and a year. A reader writes, "I have seen variants of Wybrant and Wybrants, usually with the word 'artist', as if he were trying to convince someone that his work were 'art'". [Eden] This may reflect his competition with Daguerreotypists. We are not sure what his proper name was or if that was his last name. A reader researching Wybrant/Wybrants tells us, "I am exploring the idea that Wybrant is Patrick Wybrant, an 'artist miniature painter' who lived in various towns in Yorkshire, England. He had a sister and brother in the U.S. and may have come to America 1852-54." [Eden] As we have 1853 American portraits, this can be refined to 1852-53. Some of his work in Hull, England suggests that the opposite may be the case. He may have moved from America to England at about this time. Wybrant was a rather elusive watercolor portrait artist that painted out of Gloucester in the 1850s. There are only a few known portraits. Many are profiles. This was a common approach of naive artists because profiles were eaier to paint than frontal images. If course buy the 1850s, artists like Wybrants had to compete with Daguerreotypists. While we know little about him, his work is useful because the depictioins of clothing are commonly more detailed than those in Dag portraits and of course are in color. His portraits are fairly destinctive. He seems to have nirmally painted in profile. Full on portraits are much more complicated because of the complications of painting the face. For some reason he seems to have preferred to posde his subjects facing left.

Unidentified Massachusettes Boy (1853)

Here we have a portrait of an unidentified boy, presumably from the Bodton area (figure 1). The portrait was painted in 1853. Its hard to tell age from these naive portraits, but would guess a boy of about 6 years of age. He wears a black coat over a dress or skirt. Notice that the skirt is pleated. He has a modest lace collar and bow. He holds what looks like a broad-brimmed hat. He also wears pantalettes, long white stockings, and boot-like shoes. Nokte the pleated skirt. We suspect this was an influence from Queen Victoria's decesion to dress the royal princes in kilts (1840s).

Unidentified Boy (1853)

The boy's family name may have been Pancoast. We think he was from Massachusetts because this is where the artist, Wybrabts, worked. A HBC reader has pointed out an advertising for another Wybrants portrait. The ad copy read, "Miniature watercolor child's portrait, young boy in profile holding a whip and standing beside a horse pull toy, signed lower left "Wybrants - Artist 1853", watercolor on paper, American, 19th century, 8 x 6 in.; original stained wood cushion type frame with gilt liner. Toning, fading, pest damage or abrasion at small points throughout, not examined out of frame; frame with abrasions. Provenance: The Estate of the Late Eleanor D. Pancoast, Birmingham, Michigan." The sale is in Michigan, but we suspect the boy was painted in Massachuseettes and the family subsequently moved west to Michigan.

Unidentified Girl (1853)

This watercolor portrait shows a young American girl. She wears a fetching straw hat with elaborate ribbon ties. She has a black jacket with a lace collar. She has an elaborately ruffled skirt. She also has white pantalettes and white stockings. It is dated 1853.

Sources

Eden, Jack. E-Mail, October 20, 2009.







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Created: 1:52 AM 10/28/2004
Last updated: 6:37 AM 6/20/2010