Information on this painting can be found in the Gallery publication _American Paintings of the Eighteenth Century_, pages 221-224, which is available as a free PDF https://www.nga.gov/content/dam/ngaweb/research/publications/pdfs/american-paintings-18th-century.pdf


  • Title: Robert Liston
  • Creator: Gilbert Stuart
  • Date Created: 1800
  • Physical Dimensions: overall: 73.8 x 61 cm (29 1/16 x 24 in.) framed: 90.5 x 78.1 x 6 cm (35 5/8 x 30 3/4 x 2 3/8 in.)
  • Provenance: The sitter's grand-niece and heir, Henrietta Ramage Liston Foulis [d. 1850], Millburn Tower, County Edinburgh, Scotland;[1] her son, Sir James Liston Foulis, 9th baronet [1847-1895], Woodhall and Millburn Tower, County Edinburgh; his son, Sir William Liston Foulis, 10th baronet [1869-1918], Woodhall and Millburn Tower, County Edinburgh; (P. & D. Colnaghi & Obach, London, on joint account with M. Knoedler & Co., New York), 16 December 1919; sold April 1920 to Elbert H. Gary [1846-1927], New York;[2] sale of his estate (American Art Association, New York, 8 December 1934, no. 386);[3] bought by Helena Woolworth McCann [Mrs. Charles E. F. McCann, d. 1938], New York;[4] her children, Constance Woolworth Betts, Helena Woolworth Guest, and Frasier Winfield McCann;[5] (Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 21 February 1945, no. 48).[6] Booth Tarkington [1869-1946], Indianapolis, Indiana; his widow, Susannah Robinson Tarkington [d. 1966];[7] consigned November 1947 by (Daniel H. Farr) to (M. Knoedler & Co.); sold that month to Chester Dale [1883-1962], New York; gift 1957 to NGA. [1] After Miss Liston married Sir William Foulis, 8th Baronet (1812-1858) in 1843, he assumed the name Liston. On the baronetcy see George Edward Cokayne Baronetage, _Complete Baronetage_, 6 vols., Exeter, England, 1900-1909, 2:401-403, and _Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage_, 105th ed., London, 1970, 1043-1044. [2] Melissa De Medeiros, librarian, M. Knoedler & Co, provided information about Knoedler's ownership and subsequent sales in a letter dated 5 June 1992 (NGA curatorial file). [3] American Art Association, _Important Rugs, Paintings, Georgian Silver and English Furniture from the Estate of the Late Elbert H. Gary and from the Estate of the Late Emma T. Gary_, New York, 1934, 80, repro.; see "When Genuine Raeburns Turn Out to Be Absolute Stuarts," _Art Digest_ 9, no. 5 (1 December 1934), 8, and "Active Bidding Marks Auction of Gary Estate," _Art News_ 33, no. 11 (15 December 1934), 3; on Gary see _Dictionary of American Biography_, 20 vols., New York, 1928-1936, reprinted in 10 vols. with 8 supplements, New York, 1944-1988, 7:175-176. [4] Although Knoedler is listed as the purchaser in Helen Comstock, "The Connoisseur in America: A Recapitulation of Portraits Recovered for Gilbert Stuart," _Connoisseur_ 95, no. 402 (February 1935), 99-100, which was confirmed by A. Rugo of Parke-Bernet Galleries in a letter dated 18 September 1964 (NGA curatorial file), Knoedler was acting as the bidder on behalf of Mrs. McCann, according to Knoedler librarian Melissa De Medeiros. [5] Letter of 8 October 1964 from her son Frasier Winfield McCann, president of the Winfield Foundation, to whom the painting was lent by her estate (NGA curatorial file); her death date and her children's names are found in the biography of her husband Charles Edward Francis McCann in _The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography_, 63 vols., Clifton, New Jersey, 31:100-101. [6] _Notable Paintings by Old Masters, Works by XIX Century Artists From the Collection of the Late Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. F. McCann..._, New York, 1945, 44, repro. [7] On Booth Tarkington see _Dictionary of Literary Biography_, vol. 9, part 3: _American Novelists, 1910-1945_, Detroit, 1981, 90-96, and _Dictionary of American Biography_, Supplement Four, 1946-1950, 815-817; his wife's obituary is in _The New York Times_ for 13 January 1966, 25.
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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