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George John Kilpin
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George John Kilpin
Portraits

Portraits of family and those commissioned by Canada’s industrial elite demonstrate Kilpin’s interest and aptitude in the field of portraiture.

It is not surprising that a considerable portion of Kilpin's surviving work is in the form of single portraits. Artists had a better chance of earning a comfortable income painting commissioned portraits than creating other types of artwork. Portraits celebrated the sitter's social or political status, marriage and family ties, and at times memorialized the sitter after death. Furthermore, portraiture called on artists' skills in painting and drawing, and it allowed them to delve into the personality of their models. Portraiture also tested the artist's ability to capture a likeness, an important requisite of a good portrait.
 
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