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American painter Ralph Earl was best known for portraits, as he documented 183 of them. While his portraits were his specialty, he also produced six landscape paintings, including one panorama of Niagara Falls. Below, we take a look at some of his most notable paintings. 

In the year 1778, he fled Virginia for England, where he became a patient of Dr. Mason Fitch Cogswell. In London, Earl painted many famous subjects, and was later welcomed with open arms by the social elite. In Norwich, he married Ann Whiteside, but never divorced his first wife Sarah Gates. While in England, he painted numerous portraits of prominent individuals, including the Boardmans and Taylors of New Milford and the Wolcotts of Litchfield. After the Revolutionary War, Earl returned to the United States.

After his release from prison, Earl began to paint portraits of prominent citizens and well-to-do rural families. He also traveled to Vermont and Massachusetts, but focused his paintings on Connecticut. After completing his portraits of Connecticut politicians and citizens, he was rewarded with a wealthy life in New York City. During this period, he sold some of his paintings, which made his income grow and his reputation as a successful artist continued to rise.

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