Reproductions Sully, Thomas

Thomas Sully

1783 - 1872

American Romantic painter

Thomas Sully Biography

A teacher at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Thomas Sully became one of the foremost early 19th-century portrait painters, known for painting pretty faces on his subjects, often disregarding reality.

Sully was the son of English actors and was born in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. He came to Philadelphia in 1792 when he was nine years old. Sully showed early drawing talent and first studied with his older brother, Lawrence, a miniature painter.

Among his numerous portraits, of which many have been engraved, are those of General Jonathan Williams (1815); Bishop William White, of Pennsylvania; Lafayette, in Independence hall, Philadelphia; Thomas Jefferson, painted for the United States military academy (1821); Fanny Kemble and her father, Charles Kemble; Reverdy Johnson ; Charles Carroll, of Carrollton ; Queen Victoria, painted in 1837-'8 for the St. George society, Philadelphia ; Rembrandt Peale ; Percival Drayton (1827) ; Alexander J. Dallas ; Dr. Philip Syng Physick ; Joseph Hopkinson ; George M. Dallas; and Robert F. Stockton (1851).