Friday, 17 February 2012

The Peale Family

No names from the Gentleman's Magazine this week as I thought it would be nice to continue with yesterday's theme and talk more about artists. For the 'Across the Pond' series it seemed appropriate to include the works of American painters in each post. One name that kept coming up again and again as I researched American art works was Peale. Looking further into the subject, I was delighted to find a big family with wonderfully eclectic names. Charles Wilson Peale married three times and had seventeen children with his first two wives, Rachel Bewere and Elizabeth de Peyster. Peale's passion for the arts and artists are very clear from the names he gave his children. 

Margaret Jane

James Willson


Margaret Van Bordley


Angelica Kauffmann


Titian Ramsay


Sophonisba Augusciola

Rosalba Carriera


Charles Linnaeus

Benjamin Franklin

Sybilla Miriam

Titian Ramsay (given this name after the death of his older brother)

Elizabeth De Peyster 

Now that's dedication to a theme! I'll even ignore how Peale sneaked in a Benjamin Franklin. As is rather clear, most of the children were named after established artists and naturalists, such as Maria Sibylla Merian (naturalist), Sophonisba Augusciola (painter) and Angelica Kauffmann (painter).

But Charles Wilson Peale wasn't the only one in his family to give his children names influenced by the heavyweights of the art world. His son Raphaelle followed his example and named two of his children Sophonisba and Rubens (he also had a son named St George). And his other son, Rembrandt, carried on using Angelica and Rosalba Carriera for his own daughters, and went a step further with giving his son the name Michael Angelo. Charles's brother, James Peale, also an artist, went down a similar path, naming two of his daughters Margaretta Angelica and Jane Ramsay

* Please note that this post was substantially revised and and posted on Nameberry, July 2014. You can access it here.*

Image: The Peale Family by Charles Wilson Peale.