A famous picture by C.W. PEALE, representing his two sons, Titian and Raphael, life size. All who have visited PEALE'S MUSEUM admire this remarkable painting; its perfect truth to nature is such, that many people have been deceived into the belief that it was a real staircase, with persons ascending it. It was not unusual for persons to approach it, and place a foot on the first step, which was a real one, and dogs have been known to run against it, in the attempt to ascend. Mr. PEALE had but little imagination as a painter, but was remarkable for the faculty of depicting visible objects faithfully on canvass, and hence the fidelity of his portraits, and pictures of still life. He was so well aware of the pecularity of his talent in this way, that he was always careful to have before him the exact representation of the picture he intended to paint; and in this instance he had an actual staircase constructed, and placed his two sons upon it, in the positions in which they appear on the canvass. [P. 15.]
Catalogue of the National Portrait and Historical Gallery, Illustrative of American History. Formerly belonging to Peale's Museum, Philadelphia, now exhibiting at Independence Hall, on Fourth Street, between Walnut and Vine, Cincinnati. Incorporated by Act of General Assembly. Cincinnati: Gazette Company Print. 1852.