John Patten Emmet, a chemistry professor at the University of Virginia from 1825 until his death in 1842, is the subject of this portrait painted in 1831 by James Westhall Ford. The painting is reproduced here from an 1898 history of the Emmet family.
For much of his career, Ford was an itinerant portraitist. Thomas Jefferson recommended Ford's work after the artist completed paintings of Jefferson's daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph and his granddaughter Ann Cary Randolph Bankhead in 1823. Ford was seventeen years old at the time. The artist later wrote that he "promised Mr. Jefferson to paint the faculty of the University of Virginia&—which has been done some years past."
Citation: The Emmet Family, With Some Incidents Relating to Irish History and a Biographical Sketch of Prof. John Patten Emmet, M.D., And Other Members. CS71 .E54 1898. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.