Brown, Henry I - portrait of a man

This miniature portrait is signed "H Brown" for Henry I Brown (1822->1880) who is recorded as active in Boston (1844-1851). The sitter is unknown. It is thought that, as Brown tended to use thickly applied paint, that he also painted oil portraits.

His self described occupation of painter in the 1850 census as shown below, supports this view. Although by the 1880 census, he describes himself as house painter. Thus it seems likely that as the daguerreotype tended to displace miniature painting around 1850 and none of his works are known dated after 1851, he turned to house painting to support his family. Nevertheless, as he lived in Salem for over thirty years, it seems likely he painted many large oil portraits over that period.

It seems fairly certain he is the Henry Brown 3rd listed in the 1850 census for Salem Ward 1 in Essex, Ma. There he was living as a lodger with his wife Mary E Brown and gave his occupation as painter, his age as 29 and his place of birth as England.

In the 1860 census he still lived in Salem with Mary and gave his occupation as painter, although now he described himself as Henry Brown Jr and his age as 37. Inthe 1870 census he is again in Salem with Mary and three children, Henrietta, Minnie, and Henry. His occupation is described as "works painting" and his age is 45. In the 1880 census he gives his age as 58 and his occupation as house painter. He must have died before 1900, as his wife Mary E Brown appears to be living in Salem as a widow in the 1900 census. 899

No comments: