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Prior Hamblin School, Portrait of a Young Boy in a Plaid Suit,
Sturtevant J. Hamblin,
Massachusetts, Mid 19th Century, Oil on Canvas


Sturtevant J. Hamblin (Hamblen) (1817- 1884) was the brother-in-law of William Mathew Prior. Having moved from Portland, Maine with his sister and Prior to Boston in 1840, they formed a family business which has come to be known as the Prior/Hamblin School.  Portraits by William Mathew Prior and Sturtevant Hamblin as well as a number of other artists who lived and worked in close proximity to them in Boston shared many of the same characteristics . . . a charming simplicity and a lack of reality that makes them much sought after by collectors.

Five other artists listed by Nina Fletcher Little as being influenced by Prior are his brother-in law, Sturtevant Hamblin, George Hartwell, J. Bailey Moore, William Kennedy and E. W. Blake. Undoubtedly these artists influenced each other as is evident in their similar artistic styles. Enough of these paintings are signed that attribution as to the artist is possible through comparison of individual techniques. In addition, much of the output from this school of painters is that of portraits of children.

There is a visual symmetry about the paintings by Hamblin that is uniquely his. This particular portrait by Hamblin is that of a typically sensitive and innocent child in a plaid jacket.  Oil on canvas, original stretcher, within an appropriate period frame.  Excellent condition; Frame: 22 x 26.25"; view: 15.25 x 19.25".  Probably Boston Area, Mid 19th Century. Ex: David Wheatcroft

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