Henry Peters Gray

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Henry Peters Gray, 1850

Henry Peters Gray (June 23, 1819 - November 12, 1877) was an American portrait and genre painter.

Early life[edit]

Watercolor miniature portrait of Gray by Henry Colton Shumway (1807–1884), at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1842
L to R.: Henry Kirke Brown, Henry Peters Gray and Asher Brown Durand, 1850

Born in New York City he was a pupil of Daniel Huntington in New York, and subsequently studied in Rome and Florence.


Elected a member of the National Academy of Design in 1842, he succeeded Huntington as president in 1870, holding the position until 1871.[1]

The later years of his life were devoted to portrait work. He was strongly influenced by the old Italian masters, painting in mellow colour with a classical tendency. One of his notable canvases was an allegorical composition called "The Birth of our Flag" (1875). He died in New York City.[1]

Major works[edit]

The Greek Lovers was painted by Gray after a trip to Italy, where he was greatly influenced by the art of the Italian Renaissance. This painting was very well received in its day, and reflects the nineteenth-century fascination with Greco-Roman antiquity.[2]

The Pride of the Village was based on Washington Irving’s story of the same name and is about a beautiful and simple country girl, the proverbial "pride of the village," who fell in love with an army officer. When the officer is transferred to another post, he asks that she accompany him, however, her pure mind was so upset by this indecorous suggestion that she pined away, surrounded by her devoted family. The painting shows her in her decline, possibly “thinking of her faithless lover?—or were her thoughts wandering to that distant churchyard, into whose bosom she might soon be gathered?”[3]



  1. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ "Henry Peters Gray | The Greek Lovers | The Met". metmuseum.org. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Henry Peters Gray | The Pride of the Village | The Met". metmuseum.org. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 12 February 2017.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gray, Henry Peters" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 391.