Find someone who looks at you the way Jared Sparks looks off in the distance. One of our favorite portraits also contains one of our favorite hand gestures. Executed during one of Thomas Sully’s many trips to Boston in search of commissions, Sully presents Sparks seated, marking a page in his book. He gazes off to the left in a diagonal direction, a detail that reinforces the sitter’s pensive mood and his florid complexion hints at barely suppressed excitement.
Sully chose the cover of the book Sparks holds as the site for his own initials and the date of the painting, inextricably linking Sparks’ research with Sully’s paintings.