NHS recently received a painting by local artist Eveline Roberge (b. 1920) depicting Newport Harbor from Goat Island. Roberge is a 20th century artist noted for her primitive style and depictions of Newport landscapes and scenes. According to the artist, the painting was started during the U.S. bicentennial in 1976 but was not completed until 1984. At that point, she added the decorative border to the piece. Several Newport notable buildings are immediately recognizable in the work including the Colony House, Trinity Church and the Old Stone Mill. Additionally, a small self-portrait can be seen in the bottom right, the artist painting the scene in a pink dress and bonnet.
The view of Newport portrayed in the painting is the same as depicted in a famous 1884 J.P. Newell lithograph entitled “Newport in 1730,” which is based on an original 18th century overmantel painting. Roberge’s version, however, showcases the patriotism of the early republic including numerous American flags and the phrase “we owe allegiance to no crown” on the banner to the right of the fort. The decorative border features portraits of military figures from top left: Marquis de Lafayette, Abraham Whipple, Steven Decatur, possibly George Washington, Oliver Hazard Perry, Isaac Hull and the Comte de Rochambeau.
NHS thanks Denise Silvia Mansheim and Dr. Bernard Mansheim for their generous donation. This painting can be viewed at the Richard I. Burnham Resource Center as part of Spotlight on Collections: Recent Acquisitions.