Portrait of Commodore Robert Field Stockton
Thomas Sully (1783-1872) c. 1850
The Stockton name is virtually synonymous with the history of New Jersey and the stately Stockton family home in Princeton. Morven, was, for many years, the Governor’s Mansion. Commodore Robert Field Stockton was probably the most important resident of Morven. His influence and associations extend far beyond New Jersey and his significant accomplishments are well documented in his biography. This oval portrait of Commodore Stockton is, according to family history, by the pre-eminent American portraitist Thomas Sully. The delicate hand of Sully is again apparent in this important historical portrait now, thanks to a careful and meticulous museum-standard cleaning and restoration of the painting. Well documented as having hung at Morven during its period of Stockton family residency, this portrait was donated by descendants to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Labels on the back of the original stretcher document that ownership, and although the stretcher was necessarily strengthened during the recent conservation, the labels are still visible through a plexiglass backing. A period gilt frame of proper dimensions and period enhance the beauty and appeal of this extremely significant historical portrait. A period copy of the Commodore Robert Field Stockton’s biography bearing the signature of the renowned painting collector H.O. Havermeyer, accompanies the portrait.