Stuart, Gilbert

Stuart, Gilbert

▪ American painter
in full  Gilbert Charles Stuart  
born December 3, 1755, North Kingstown, Rhode Island, U.S.
died July 9, 1828, Boston, Massachusetts

      American painter who was one of the great portrait painters of his era and the creator of a distinctively American portrait style.

      Stuart grew up in Newport, Rhode Island, where he learned the rudiments of painting. In 1775 he went to London and entered the studio of the expatriate American artist Benjamin West (West, Benjamin), with whom he worked for about six years. His mature style owes more, however, to the work of Thomas Gainsborough (Gainsborough, Thomas) and Sir Joshua Reynolds (Reynolds, Sir Joshua) than to West. In 1782 Stuart opened his own London studio, and for five years he received portrait commissions from some of England's most distinguished gentlemen. Despite this success, he fled to Dublin in 1787 to escape his creditors. After six years in Ireland he returned to the United States, where he quickly established himself as the nation's leading portrait painter. He lived in New York City for a short time and moved to Philadelphia, where he lived for about 12 years. He finally settled in Boston in 1805.

 Stuart's work was hailed by his contemporaries, and modern critics have confirmed this judgment, praising his brushwork, luminous colour, and psychological penetration. Of his nearly 1,000 portraits, undoubtedly the most famous is the unfinished head of George Washington (Washington, George) from 1796. Stuart produced more than 60 copies of this work at the time, and in 1869 the image began to appear on the one-dollar bill. The iconic status of this work was assured in 1932, when millions of prints were distributed to American classrooms as part of the bicentennial celebration of Washington's birth. Other fine portraits by Stuart include those of Mrs. Richard Yates, Mrs. Perez Morton, Major General Henry Dearborn, and John Adams.

      Although Stuart had no formal pupils, many young artists, including John Vanderlyn (Vanderlyn, John), Thomas Sully (Sully, Thomas), and John Neagle, took advantage of the advice he freely gave. These artists were particularly impressed by Stuart's working method: eschewing preliminary sketches, he painted his sitters faces directly onto the canvas or panel. Less talented artists, including his own daughter Jane, reduced his style to a formula that was reflected in much American portraiture of the succeeding generation.

Additional Reading
James Thomas Flexner, Gilbert Stuart: A Great Life in Brief (1955); Charles Merrill Mount, Gilbert Stuart: A Biography (1964); Richard McLanathan, Gilbert Stuart (1986).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Stuart Gilbert — (1883 ndash; 1969) was an English literary scholar and translator. Among his translations into English are works by André Malraux, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, Georges Simenon, Jean Cocteau, Albert Camus, and Jean Paul Sartre. He also assisted in… …   Wikipedia

  • Stuart, Gilbert — (1742 1786)    Historical writer, s. of George S., Prof. of Humanity (Latin) at Edin. Among his publications were An Historical Dissertation on the English Constitution (1768), Discourse on the Government and Laws of England (1772), A View of… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Stuart,Gilbert Charles — Stuart, Gilbert Charles. 1755 1828. American painter particularly known for his portraits of George Washington. * * * …   Universalium

  • Stuart, Gilbert (Charles) — born Dec. 3, 1755, North Kingston, R.I., U.S. died July 9, 1828, Boston, Mass. U.S. painter. He went to London in 1775 and worked six years with Benjamin West. He opened his own London studio in 1782 and enjoyed great success but fled to Dublin… …   Universalium

  • Stuart, Gilbert (Charles) — (3 dic. 1755, North Kingston, R.I., EE.UU.–9 jul. 1828, Boston, Mass.). Pintor estadounidense. En 1775 viajó a Londres, y trabajó durante seis años con Benjamin West. En Londres abrió su propio taller en 1782, y gozó de un gran éxito, pero huyó a …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • STUART, GILBERT CHARLES —    American portrait painter, born at Narragansett, Rhode Island; was taken up by a Scotch painter named Alexander, whom he accompanied to Edinburgh, but was set adrift by the death of his patron, and for some years led a wandering life in… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Gilbert Stuart — Autorretrato de Gilbert Stuart, pintado en 1778 Nombre de nacimiento Gilbert Charles Stewart …   Wikipedia Español

  • STUART (G.) — STUART GILBERT (1755 1828) Peintre américain, Stuart est formé auprès d’un maître écossais, le portraitiste Cosmo Alexander, qu’il accompagne en Écosse en 1772; il s’expatrie en Angleterre et en Irlande de 1775 à 1792. Si ses premiers portraits… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gilbert Stuart — Infobox Artist bgcolour = name = Gilbert Stuart imagesize = 250px caption = A Self Portrait of Gilbert Stuart, Painted in 1778 birthname = Gilbert Charles Stewart [cite web|url=… …   Wikipedia

  • Stuart — /stooh euhrt, styooh /, n. 1. a member of the royal family that ruled in Scotland from 1371 to 1714 and in England from 1603 to 1714. 2. Charles Edward ( the Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie ), 1720 80, grandson of James II. 3. Also,… …   Universalium

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