AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

The Merging of Ornamentation, Artistic Competence, and Social Structure in the Portraiture oI Jeremiah Theus in Charleston, South Carolina

by Tania Inniss

Institution: Louisiana State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Jeremiah Theus; portraiture; colonial; America; artist; painter; limner; south Carolina; social hierarchy
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2064258
Full text PDF: http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-05202016-162645/


​Previous research into the art of Jeremiah Theus has often left much to be desired. A common choice of historians is to discuss how he differs from artists of his time, or discuss him solely in the context of other artists. However, it is important to study Theus within his own framework. A study of his particular location, time period, family history, the subjects he elected to portray and the way he chose to portray them all help in understanding and recognizing what makes Theus unique as an artist. This thesis aims not only to address the research undertaken by previous scholars but also strives to approach the artist from a more subjective direction. Hopefully, this will discourage future scholars from rapidly attributing the primitive works of eighteenth century Charleston to Theus and from unjustly assuming more skillful works as being too advanced to belong to his oeuvre. Advisors/Committee Members: Spieth, Darius (chair), Sifford, Elena FitzPatrick (committee member), Kheel, Claudia (committee member).