|Portrait of Rubens Peale with a Geranium, 1801, Rembrandt Peale|
|Rubens Peale, 1807, Rembrandt Peale|
In simply looking at his ruddy slender face, delicate features, with tiny spectacles, and curly hair, the one word that might come to mind is "nerd." In the case of Rubens Peale, from the huge family of "painting Peales," you wouldn't be far off. As painted by his older brother, Rembrandt, in Rubens Peale with a Geranium (above) around 1801 when Rubens was just seventeen, we see a certain affection, but then have to wonder, what seventeen-year-old boy would seem to be so in love with a Geranium as to be painted with one? A second portrait, again by Rembrandt Peale some six years later (minus the Geranium), shows a young man with the characteristic Peale nose and receding hairline bespectacled and, despite a somewhat handsome face, no less "nerdy" looking. His sister's miniature portrait of him (Anna Claypoole Peale, below, left) is that of a mature young man (around thirty-five), though somewhat less flattering a depiction than that of her more adept brother.
|Rubens Peale, 1830-30, Anna Claypoole Peale|
|Magpie Eating Cake, 1865, Rubens Peale|
|Wedding Cake, Wine, Almonds, and Raisins, 1860, Rubens Peale,|
what we'd call a fruitcake today.
|Still-life with Grapes, Watermelon, and Peaches, 1863, Rubens Peale|