half-length portrait depicting a young man in a high-collared black suit. Accompanying 19th-century manuscript note identifies the painter. In a period gilt frame; 25.5" x 21.5" (w/o frame), 31.5" x 27.5" (w/frame).
Thomas Ball (1819-1911), born in Massachusetts the son of a house and sign painter, worked at Moses Kimball's Boston Museum and Fine Arts Gallery, where he also cut silhouettes. Beginning in 1837, he progressed to miniature, and then life-sized, portraits. His work was exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum, the American Art Union, and the Apollo Art Association. Beginning about 1851, however, Ball focused on sculpture, his most famous being his equestrian George Washington in the Boston Public Garden, his statue of Daniel Webster in New York's Central Park, and the Lincoln Emancipation Group in Boston and Washington, D.C. Ball moved to Italy in 1865 and took up residence next door to Hiram Powers. He returned to the United States in 1897 and set up a studio in New York. He then retired to Montclair, New Jersey where he died in 1911.