James Sharpies, an English artist who specialized in making small, cabinet-size pastel portraits, came to the United States with his family in 1793. He and his family worked both in America and England subsequently. Typically, his works are three-quarter or profile view on standard 9-by-7-inch gray paper. Sharpies's wife, Ellen, made many copies of her husband's work, as did his children, Felix, James, Jr., and Rolinda. The entire family purposely worked in the same style and none signed his or her work, making it difficult to sort out the individual hands.

RELATED EXAMPLES: Portraits of Adams and Jefferson at Independence Hall. Philadelphia (Milley 1975) and at City Art Gallery, Bristol, England (Knox 1972, pp. 99-100).

Book excerpt: Warren, David B., Michael K. Brown, Elizabeth Ann Coleman, and Emily Ballew Neff. American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection. Houston: Princeton Univ. Press, 1998.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Attributed to a member of the family of artist James Sharples, American, c. 1751–1811
Portrait of Thomas Jefferson
c. 1800–1832
Pastel on gray paper
Sheet: 9 × 7 in. (22.9 × 17.8 cm)
Credit Line

The Bayou Bend Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
Drawings, Pastels & Watercolors

Private collection, England; [Louis Lyons, New York, by November 24, 1956]; [Ginsburg & Levy, New York, 1956–1957]; purchased by Miss Ima Hogg, May 27, 1957; given to MFAH.