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Portraits of the Levy-Franks Family
- This series of six paintings captures three generations of the Levy-Franks, a wealthy merchant family who were part of the small community of Jewish immigrants who settled in lower Manhattan. Their shipping empire supplied the British during the French & Indian War, carried goods on Caribbean trade routes, and possibly brought enslaved people to the Americas.
- These portraits were created by a limner painter, who most likely had no formal training but certainly knew English mezzotints of the aristocracy. Their poses, dress, and accessories align the family with the upper class. The paintings would have conveyed their wealth and celebrated the family network.
More to think about
The portraits reinforce the wealth and social status of the Levy-Franks family, but also create a strong network between the members of three generations. Looking at the portraits together, how did the artist emphasize family connections and create a unified sense of community?