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John F. Francis (American, 1808-1886)


Although best known for his "dessert" and "luncheon" still-life paintings, John F. Francis devoted his early career during the 1840s and '50s to portraiture, particularly of the elite from his hometown, Philadelphia. As a portraitist and silhouettist, Francis also painted subjects in rural Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, Delaware, Ohio, Maine, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. During this time, he exhibited nearly twenty paintings at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts annual exhibitions. His portraits were intimate, executed in a traditional manner: ladies and gentleman, or mothers with children, dressed in finery and seated in interiors framed by theatrical drapery and views of idyllic landscapes.

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