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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Spiridione Gambardella, American (Italy c. 1815 - 1886 Italy)
William Ellery Channing (1780 - 1842)
William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)
Work Type
Creation Place: North America, United States
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas mounted on board
oval: 47.2 x 39.5 cm (18 9/16 x 15 9/16 in.)
framed: 63.5 x 53.3 x 3.5 cm (25 x 21 x 1 3/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • plaque: "William Ellery Channing"


Recorded Ownership History
Gift of Jonathan Phillips to Frederick Augustus Eustis, Harvard Class of 1835; Gift of Frederick A. Eustis, in accordance with the will of Mary Channing Eustis (1818-1891), widow of Frederick A. Eustis and daughter or William Ellery Channing, to Harvard University, 1934.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard University Portrait Collection, Gift of Frederick A. Eustis, Class of 1835, in accordance with the will of Mary Channing Eustis
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • William Henry Channing, The Life of William Ellery Channing, American Unitarian Association (Boston, 1880), pp. 701-702, frontispiece
  • Laura M. Huntsinger, Harvard Portraits: A Catalogue of Portrait Paintings at Harvard University, ed. Alan Burroughs, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 37
  • D. H. Meyer, "The Saint as Hero: William Ellery Channing and the 19th-Century Mind", Winterthur Portfolio (Charlottesville, VA, 1973), 8, p. 172. fig. 1
  • Anne-Marie Taylor, Young Charles Sumner and the Legacy of the American Enlightenment, 1811-1851, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA, 2001), ill. p. 46
  • Dean Grodzins, American Heretic: Theodore Parker and Transcendentalism, The University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill and London, 2002), ill.
  • Kenneth S. Sacks, Understanding Emerson : "The American Scholar" and His Struggle for Self-Reliance, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 2003), p. 25, fig. 3
  • Megan Marshall, The Peabody Sisters : Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, MA, 2005), ill. p. 163
  • Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. and Melissa Renn, American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826, Yale University Press (U.S.) and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge and New Haven, 2014), pp. 219-20, cat. 170, ill.

Exhibition History

  • National Academy of Design, NY, National Academy of Design, 01/01/1839 - 12/31/1839
  • Boston Athenaeum, Boston Athenaeum, 01/01/1872 - 12/31/1872
  • Boston Athenaeum II, Boston Athenaeum, 01/01/1873 - 12/31/1873

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at