Gilbert Stuart: 10 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

George Washington (Lansdowne Portrait) (1796) by Gilbert StuartSmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

'American-born Gilbert Stuart had eighteen years in Europe to hone his artistry. He was commissioned by Senator and Mrs. William Bingham of Pennsylvania to provide a gift to the Marquis of Lansdowne, an English supporter of American independence.'

Portrait of Hugh Percy, Second Duke of Northumberland (1788/1788) by Gilbert StuartHigh Museum of Art

'Stuart is known for his portraits of some of the most famous American men and women of his era, particularly those he made of George Washington. In order to master the techniques of late-eighteenth-century English portraiture, Stuart took extended trips to London and Dublin, where this painting was created.'

Mrs. Joseph Anthony (Henrietta Hillegas) (1794) by Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828)The Walters Art Museum

'The sitter is the wife of Joseph Anthony, Jr., Gilbert Stuart's first cousin, who trained as a silversmith, and subsequently opened a business in Philadelphia, eventually making the transition from craftsman to entrepreneur.'

Catherine Brass Yates (Mrs. Richard Yates) (1793/1794) by Gilbert StuartNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC

'Complaining about the literalness required of him in America, Stuart quipped, "In England my efforts were compared with those of Van Dyck, Titian, and other great painters--here they are compared with the works of the Almighty!" The Almighty had given Catherine Yates a bony face and an appraising character, and that is exactly what Stuart had to portray.'

George Washington (The Athenaeum Portrait) (1796) by Gilbert StuartSmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

'Martha Washington convinced the president to sit again because, according to artist Rembrandt Peale, she "wished a Portrait for herself; he therefore consented on the express condition that when finished it should be hers." Stuart, however, preferred this portrait to his earlier Washington; he purposely left it and that of the first lady unfinished so that he could use this as a model for the numerous copies that the first president's admirers commissioned.'

Martha Washington (The Athenaeum Portrait) (1796) by Gilbert StuartSmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

'Gilbert Stuart painted this portrait of Martha Washington at the same time he did that of the president.'

Portrait of Anne Willing Bingham (1797) by Gilbert Charles Stuart, American, 1755 - 1828Philadelphia Museum of Art

'Gilbert Stuart, who was living in the Germantown area of Philadelphia during this period, painted many of the celebrities of the new republic. He depicts Mrs. Bingham in a plunging neckline that sets off her pale skin and her dazzling jeweled pendant, which probably contains a miniature portrait.'

Dolley Payne Madison (Mrs. James Madison) (1804) by Gilbert StuartThe White House

'The cataloguer described Stuart's painting as "the only portrait in existence of Dolley P. Madison, the most beautiful lady that ever trod the floors of the White House," adding that it was "known by every art connoisseur in the world."6 Essay by William Kloss, Art in the White House, 2nd edition (Washington, DC: White House Historical Association, 2008), 78.'

General John R. Fenwick (ca. 1804) by Gilbert StuartGibbes Museum of Art

'While Gilbert Stuart is not known to have worked in Charleston, he was a favorite among many Charlestonians who commissioned portraits from him during his stays in New York and later Washington, D.C. Dramatically rendered, Stuart uses an intense color scheme to depict Fenwick's uniform and sword hilt.'

Thomas Jefferson (1805/1821) by Gilbert StuartSmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

'Gilbert Stuart was not only early America's most admired portraitist but also an eccentric known for procrastinating.'

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