Thistlethwaite Americana | Boy with Kite Folk Art Portrait
We pride ourselves on presenting distinctive fine and decorative arts from the 18th through the 20th century highlighting great American design.
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Boy with Kite

Boy with Kite Folk Art Portrait


Circa 1840

Oil on Canvas

20 1/2″ H x 15 1/4″ W


What is sweeter than a charming boy holding a kite with his loyal companion? One can’t help but notice the background with horses galloping westward and sheep being herded by a working dog. Portraits of children, like this boy, were commissioned by the parents, and served as visual and material representations of their parental pride of the pictured child. Children were often portrayed playing, reading or with an animal. The same is true in this portrait. This painting would have hung in a public space, letting visitors know that the boy was intelligent enough to fly a kite—which was considered a scientific instrument at the time—and had enough self- discipline to train a dog well-enough to walk without a leash.


WHY WE LOVE IT: It is hard to find a more charming American Folk painting of a boy than this. From the detailed background to the inquisitive look of the boy, this painting has it all.