Gilbert Stuart

(American, 1755 - 1828)

Gilbert Stuart was born in Rhode Island. He was educated in Newport where in 1770 he is known to have been a student of Cosmo Alexander, a Scotsman residing there at that time. In 1775 Stuart went to London where he studied with Benjamin West. The artist opened his own studio in London in 1788 and painted portraits of many famous people there and in Ireland which he visited in 1790. Deeply in debt he sailed from Ireland to New York where he painted until 1794 when he moved to Philadelphia to paint portraits of George Washington. In 1803 Stuart moved to Washington, D.C. to paint portraits of President Jefferson and other prominent men of the time. In 1805 he moved to Boston where he lived until his death in 1828. He was elected a member of the American Academy in 1795 and an honorary member of the National Academy of Design in 1827.