Frederick James, A Colonial Wedding

Frederick James: A Colonial Wedding (c. 1888) Oil on canvas
A Colonial Wedding
c. 1888
Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Bequest of Charles Knox Smith
30 1/4 x 45 1/4

In a crisp and highly detailed style, Frederick James depicts a newly married couple in a carriage hastily departing a throng of well wishers, having just emerged from church. James, who trained first at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later under the famed French artist Jean Leon Gerome (1824-1904), was noted for his depictions of 18th-century America. Here he has chosen a joyous subject matter, one that allows him to showcase his superior talents. Indeed, the wedding party, dressed to the nines, gives James ample opportunity to display his remarkable skill at replicating on canvas the exquisite satiny sheen of the participants' finery.

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  • The model in the pink dress is indubidably the artist's wife, Lucy. My parents have on their wall a James painting of Lucy in the same dress. I'd be happy to send a picture of it. Fred James was my great-great-great uncle. His sister, Carrie James Shellenberger, was my geat-great grandmother.

    Brennan Kane