Vernon Fisher / Study for "Worlds Collide" / 1988Vernon Fisher
Study for "Worlds Collide"

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Creator Name: Fisher, Vernon
Creator Dates/Places: American, born 1943
Creator Name-CRT: Vernon Fisher
Title: Study for "Worlds Collide"
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1988
Creation End Date: 1988
Creation Date: 1988
Object Type: Drawings and Watercolors
Materials and Techniques: pencil and acrylic on paper
Dimensions: Overall: 42 1/2 x 48 1/4 in. (107.95 x 122.56 cm.)
AMICA Contributor: Dallas Museum of Art
Owner Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
ID Number: 1988.28
Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Dorace Fichtenbaum
Copyright: ? Vernon Fisher
Context: In mid-eighteenth century America, artists began to come forth from the artistic wilderness and were given the important task of providing the legitimacy of high culture to the emerging society. Painters and colonists alike looked to the Old World for inspiration and validation. As a result, recording the new colonial aristocracy became a predominant focus for many artists. In Charleston, South Carolina, Jeremiah Theus, a Swiss emigrant became the premier portraitist for Charleston's burgeoning elite. During his forty year career, Theus painted most of Charleston's most important and influential citizens. His style relates to John Wollaston, an occasional visitor to Charleston, and to European portraiture, copied from engravings. There is a recognizable sameness both in style and physiognomy in Theus' paintings. His portraits of women, in particular, are similarly posed, the eyes tend always to be rather close-set, the hair is tightly pulled back and the proportions of the face tend to be somewhat disproportionate. Upon closer study, however, these rather unflattering portrayals become character studies of the new elite of the city in ascent.The portrait of Mary Trusler, painted around 1760, is typical of Theus' portrait style. The rigidly posed figure is placed against a light oval background. Her dress and fichu are beautifully painted, a Theus hallmark, and are given a splendid sense of surface through Theus' rather sophisticated handling of paint. Mrs. Trusler's face, at first a "Theus" face, begins to take on the character of the sitter, a prosperous resolute woman. Mary Trusler's life (1723-1789) spans the most remarkable period in the history of Charleston and was punctuated by a marriage in 1742 to Thomas Doughty, a wealthy landowner and in 1755 to Daniel Cannon, a businessman and important Revloutionary figure. Today, two streets in Charleston bear the names of her husbands.Around 1740, Jeremiah Theus emigrated from Switzerland to "Charles Town," South Carolina, then the cultural capital of the Southern colonies. When Theus painted "Mary Trusler," he was the preeminent portraitist to Charleston society and the wealthy plantation owners of the region. Mary Trusler was at this time married to the second of her prosperous husbands, Daniel Cannon, a businessman and later an important revolutionary war figure. Theus portrays a Charleston matron in a conservative satin dress, the rich sheen of her costume and pearls contrasting with the unsentimental truth of her middle-aged appearence.
AMICA ID: DMA_.1988.28
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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