27 x 35.5 inches
Beard was born in Buffalo, New York. When he was eleven he moved with his family to Painesville, Ohio where his younger brother, painter William Holbrook Beard was born. Although largely self-taught, in 1827 he received his first art instruction in Painesville from noted itinerant artist, Jarvas Frary Hanks. For a while he was an itinerant portrait painter who traveled to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Louisville. He moved to Cincinnati in 1834 where he remained until 1870, spending his winters in New Orleans. His 1834 painting of a child with a dog determined Beard’s mature career as he moved from portraiture to animal and genre paintings. Art Historian William H. Gerdts considers Beard “the outstanding artist to emerge in Cincinnati in the 1830s”. He served with the Union Army during the American Civil War. He moved to New York in 1870 where he remained until his death. Beard exhibited widely, including American Art Union, National Academy of Design, Brooklyn Art Association, Centennial Exposition, 1876, Philadelphia, Boston Art Club, Apollo Association and the Southern Art Union.