The previous owner of this work, Thomas Thompson, was the son of a wealthy 18th-century merchant. Having graduated from Harvard in 1817, Thompson gave up his studies in order to pursue his passion for art; he rapidly became recognised as a patron of art students, and later for being in possession of one of the finest collections in Boston, a collection which Thompson spent over half of his life accumulating. As dictated by Thompson’s will, The Thomas Thompson Trust was established in 1869 and is now one of America’s longest-standing philanthropist foundations. The trust’s primary areas for support are healthcare and social services in the United States, with a particular and distinguishing interest in supporting women. However, it also contributes to support the arts and humanities in honour of Thompson and his wife Elizabeth’s admiration of the arts.
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