Wood, Joseph - portrait of a man with a wig

This unsigned portrait is in a front opening case, with a plain gold backing, which is typical of American case work and uncommon with British miniatures.

The miniature has been tentitively been attributed to Joseph Wood (1778-1830). He was born in Clarkston, New York. Wood's portraits are more sharply defined than Malbone's, showing stronger contrasts and deeper shadows, with dark outlines around the eyes. The hair is brilliantly and airily rendered. These characteristics seem to fit this portrait.

Wood worked in partnership with John Wesley Jarvis after he had met Malbone around 1803. They were both instructed by Malbone. In 1811 Wood took Nathaniel Rogers on as an apprentice in New York, but later moved to Baltimore and Washington.

However, another possible attribution is to Archibald Robertson (1751-1815) who arrived in New York in 1791 and remained there for the rest of his life. This is based upon a comparison of the pose and style, with that of the portrait of Mary Craigie Foster owned by the American Antiquarian Society (Hewes fig. 50) which appears to be by the same artist, but has been attributed to Archibald Robertson.

This sitter is unknown. 252

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