Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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AMES, Joseph, painter, born in Roxbury, New Hampshire, in 1816; died in New York, 30 October 1872. He early began portrait painting, and, having attained moderate success in his own state, opened a studio in Boston, and soon established a reputation, painting the portraits of several prominent citizens. He was wholly self-taught, and it is thought that some of his best work was done in this first period of his career. As soon as he could save the means he went to Rome and studied there, painting a fine portrait of Pins IX. On his return to the United States he settled in Boston, but removed to Baltimore on account of his health in 1870. The change did him no good, and he soon removed to New York. He was elected a member of the national academy of design in 1870. His success in New York in genre work, as well as in portraiture, was extremely flattering, and he soon had more orders than he could fill. His best-known pictures are portraits of Ristori, Prescott, Emerson, Rachel, and President Felton, of Harvard, and "Gazzaniga." Among his ideal paintings are "Miranda," "Night," "Morning," "The Death of Webster," and "Maud Muller." The annual exhibition of 1872 contained his last works, a portrait of Ross Winans and one of a young lady of Baltimore, while in his studio he left a finished picture of Madame Ristori as Medea. He died of brain fever after a brief illness. His widow has executed meritorious busts of Abraham Lincoln and Governor John A. Andrew, of Massachusetts.
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