Anna Hart, Mrs. Isaac Hull


William Dunlap ( American, 1766 - 1839 )

after 1812
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General Description

This is the companion portrait for William Dunlap's Commodore Isaac Hull. While we do not know much about his wife, Anna Hart, we do know some information about her husband. Already a celebrated naval officer, Commodore Isaac Hull captured the nation's attention during the War of 1812, when the USS Constitution, under his command, battled and sank the British frigate Guerriere. These portraits do not emphasize Hull's heroism, as did other contemporary examples. Rather, they were undoubtedly family paintings meant to be enjoyed in private. The emphasis on Commodore and Mrs. Hull's appearance, as well as their bust-length compositions and neutral backgrounds, derive from William Dunlap's previous career as a miniaturist, since the small scale of portrait miniatures left little room for fanciful backgrounds.

Adapted from

William Keyse Rudolph, DMA label text, 2006