John Ritto Penniman
Edward Tuckerman, 1823

Technical Notes
The support is a tangentially cut, half-centimeter-thick piece of mahogany. Gray paint has been applied to the back of the panel. In places, the paint on the front and back surfaces extends over the edges of the panel, indicating that it has not been trimmed.

The gray, relatively thin ground layer is evenly applied and has a fine pebbled texture. In general, the portrait is thinly painted. There is a slight buildup of paint in the lighter areas around the shadows on the face. The background appears to have been done before the head and shoulders, which were left in reserve. The paint of the neck cloth, hair, face, and coat overlaps that of the background. The hair was painted with fine brushstrokes, leaving a slight buildup in the highlights. The gray ground shows through in the wig queue, which is further defined with black brushstrokes. The gray ground also shows through the iris, and fine black strokes form the pupil, the edge of the iris, and the eyelid.

The hair powder on the coat collar was produced with fine strokes of gray and white paint. Some of the shadows on the coat were created with cross-hatched brushstrokes of semitransparent black paint. There is a slight buildup of white paint on the cravat. Glazes are present on both the face and coat.

Overall, the painting is in very good condition. There are a few small losses, mainly around the edges. The paint layer has a fine network of crackle and exhibits a very small degree of cupping in the coat shadows. Two small abrasions in the bottom-left background have been inpainted. The surface coating is slightly matte in appearance but shows no signs of discoloration.

Frame Notes
The frame consists of a two-piece, gilded-softwood molding with applied compo ornament. The bottom pieces have mortised corner joins, and the top pieces have mitered corner joins. There is a band of leaf-and-dart ornament along the sight edge, followed by a narrow band of three-quarter-round beaded-chain ornament. The outer section of the frame consists of a sandwork ogee profile with shell-and-foliate compo ornaments at each corner. The back panels are finished with a yellow bole.