John Ritto Penniman (American, 1782-1841)Boston's Exchange Coffee House Burning of 1818
Signed and dated lower right, "J R Penniman Pinxt 1824"
Oil on canvas
27 3/8 x 41 5/8 inches
The Exchange Coffee House (1809-1818) functioned as a hotel, coffeehouse and commercial establishment in early 19th century Boston. It was designed by Asher Benjamin (1773-1845), and was one of the largest buildings in Boston, and one of the tallest in the United States.
The present painting was displayed in November 1824 at the New England Museum (founded 1818) in Boston, Massachusetts at 76 Court Street by Ethan A. Greenwood and others. The presentation of the present painting was announced in the Columbian Centennial of November 3, 1824.
Provenance: By descent through the artist's family to the present owner
Literature: Illustrated and discussed in Carol Damon Andrews, "John Ritto Penniman (1782-1841), an Ingenious New England Artist," "Antiques," July 1981, pl. VIII, pp. 147-170.; D. Breton Simons, "Boston Beheld," Hanover, New Hampshire: UPNE, 2008, p. 34-35.; Jane Kamensky, "The Exchange Artist," New York: Viking, 2008, cover and p. 291.
Exhibited: The New England Museum, Boston, November, 1824; Worcester Art Museum exhibition of Pennimans works., 1982
Estimate: $50,000 - $100,000
Condition: Relined, stretchers replaced, painting lightly cleaned at that time and minor in-painting along bottom edge of picture, below the signature and continuing across the bottom edge, ranging from 1/8 to _ inches in height. The inscription remains untouched. Very minor inpainting on extreme left side of painting and scattered specks in the sky.