Which Children are in the Painting? #2

In an earlier post, I pondered on who was in the painting below, which is listed in the Frick collection as Colonel Thorn and family, and I decided it was Ellen or Alice, Ida, Eugene and Colonel Thorn.

I checked back recently and Frick had updated their archive details (or maybe I’d missed them first time around).

It now says it the people in the painting are Colonel Herman Thorn, Captain Herman Thorn Jr, Angeline (de Pau) and Mary (de Varaigne). The problem is that the painting is dated 1851, Paris. By 1851, Herman Jr was dead, and the girls were close to 40 years old. So I’m pretty confused now. The dates match better with the three youngest Thorn Children.

Colonel Thorn and Family by George Healy 1851, Paris


  1. Interesting that Capt Herman jr’s face is in shadows and turned away..while everyone else is looking forward..signifying his death..and the youthful portraits of daughters are to fit w that..be interesting to reach out to the Frick. On behalf of the family


    • Hi Jacqueline, great idea. I might just do that. I’m still not convinced it’s the older children. The dates don’t line up, and also the description with the actual photograph says Countess de Ferussac and Ellen Kirkland. But it is confusing!


  2. I hear you..in family lore the portrait I shared w you of my great grandfather James Jauncy Thorne , was always identified as Eugene Cruger a great uncle who died young….it wasn’t until I had it reframed and on the back it said James Jauncy Thorn that I realized what a treasure I had..


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