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from more than two years of study in London schooled in the art of portraiture and in command of the artistic versatility that was to characterize his career He introduced his children and his brother to the art of painting and they in turn passed the heritage to succeeding generations For a full century the Peale artists contributed their talents to the development of American art and ideas Through thousands of works of art as well as through art institutions scientific explorations and publications and educational activities the Peales sought to persuade Americans of the value of cultural and intellectual enterprises for the continued success of the countrys republican experiment1 Charles Willson Peale was the eldest of all of his siblings Peale born in 1741 labored as craftsman until 1762 when he discovered the art of portraiture After receiving brief instruction from portraitists John Hesselius and John Singleton Copley in the colonies Peale traveled abroad in 1766 to study in the London studio of American artist Benjamin West Returning home thoroughly conversant with the major elements of the British portrait tradition and the classical theory that dominated 18th-century British art he taught painting to his younger brother James his nephew Charles Peale Polk and his sons Raphaelle Rembrandt Titian Ramsay I Rubens and Titian Ramsay II2 1Wilson Janet The Ingenious Mr Peale New York NY Antheneum Books For Young Authors 1996 p 8 2 httpwwwthinkerorgdeyoungexhibitionspealeindexhtml The Peale Family p 1 Three of Jamess daughters--Anna Claypoole Margaretta and Sarah Miriam-- assisted their father in his studio and in turn developed their artistic skills The Enlightenment concept of the family as the basis of a healthy society and civic harmony permeated the art of Charles
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