Portrait of a Man
William Matthew Prior, American, 1806 - 1873
Born in Bath, Maine, William Matthew Prior may have apprenticed with an all-purpose "fancy" painter who decorated furniture and painted signs, landscapes, portraits, and marines. After working in Portland, he moved to Boston in 1839, where he set up a similar business with his wife's two brothers. From his base in Boston, he peddled his paintings into the countryside and was able to find patrons without exhibiting his work with artists' clubs or institutions.