Portrait of David Baldwin
Ralph Earl’s portrait of David Baldwin, a prominent Connecticut merchant and civic leader, reveals his desire to be remembered as a wealthy, fashionable, and learned man. From his powdered wig to his buckled shoes, Baldwin appears in full command of his environment, confident of his place in the young American nation.
Earl absorbed British portrait tradition in London, where he lived during the Revolutionary War because of his Loyalist sympathies. Earl returned to America in 1785 to take advantage of the growing market for commissions that followed Independence.