Happy Birthday Thomas Sully!! and my brother Brian Alan Crittenden! Thomas Sully was born in 1783 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a popular portrait painter, also working on landscapes and historical genre scenes. In Mother and Son, his talent at depicting romantic mood is quite apparent. The viewer's eye is led through the portrait with the opposing values of the mother's brilliant white dress and the inky black shadowing on the young boy. Their wistful expressions lend further to the peaceful mood.