Daniel Huntington (October 4, 1816 – April 19, 1906), American artist, was born in New York City, New York, the son of Benjamin Huntington, Jr. and Faith Trumbull Huntington; his paternal grandfather was Benjamin Huntington, delegate at the Second Continental Congress and first U.S. Representative from Connecticut. Autograph Slip Signed, n.d. - 1 3/4 x 1/2 signed on 'wove' line stationery in blk ink with a new cliping mounted 7 1/16 x 3 1/3 overall, fine condition.
In addition to being recognized as New York City's "official" portraitist during the post Civil War era, Daniel Huntington was also known for his genre scenes, historical pieces, and landscapes. Huntington also played an important role in New York art life, serving two terms as president of the National Academy of Design (1862-70; 1877-90).
He was also a founder of the Century Association and was Vice-President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1870 until 1903. Born in New York in 1816, Huntington studied at Yale College (1832) and at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York (1832-35). While in Clinton, he met the noted portrait painter Charles Loring Elliott, who gave him some instruction and encouraged him to pursue a career as an artist. Returning to New York, Huntington studied under Samuel F.B. Morse and Henry Inman, two of the city's most celebrated artists.
Early in his career, Huntington explored a range of subjects, including rural landscape and genre scenes. During these years, he worked in a soft, painterly manner inspired by the romantic realism of Morse and Inman.
In 1836 Huntington began exhibiting his paintings at the National Academy. He was elected an associate member of the Academy in 1839 and a full academician one year later. In 1839, accompanied by his friend and fellow artist, Henry Peters Gray, Huntington traveled throughout Italy and France, familiarizing himself with the art of the Old Masters as well as painting and sketching on his own.
In Rome, he took further study under G.P. Ferraro. When he returned to New York in 1840, Huntington painted an allegorical piece, Mercy's Dream (1841; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts) based on a character from Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan's epic tale of man's struggle to lead a Christian life. As well as establishing his reputation, the painting also reflected his growing interest in didactic themes. Huntington later produced two additional versions of Mercy's Dream.
Huntington made a second trip to Europe in 1842. For three years, he worked mainly in Rome, painting historical and religious pieces as well as landscapes. In 1850, he exhibited one hundred and thirty paintings at the Art Union in New York. He went abroad again in 1851. During the next seven years he spent much of his time in England, where he painted portraits of well-known figures, including Sir Charles Eastlake, President of the Royal Academy.
He made a final trip to Europe in 1882, spending most of his time in Spain. From the early 1850s, up until his death in 1903, Huntington focused almost exclusively on portraiture, producing over 1,000 images. A highly respected painter, he was described by the critic James Jackson Jarves as one of the "representative artists of academic training," renowned for his "refinement and high-bred tone."
During the 1870s and 1880s, when young American artists began to look to contemporary French and German art for inspiration, Huntington remained steadfast in his devotion to the Old Master tradition. His late portraits were highly literal, revealing the impact of photography.
Examples of Huntington's work can be found in many important public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New-York Historical Society, the Brooklyn Museum, and the National Gallery of Art.