Gilbert Stewart


May 19, 2022

Gilbert Charles Stuart (born 3 December 1755 in Sonderstown, Rhode Island; died 9 July 1828 in Boston) is an artist from the United States of America. Together with the artist John Copley, he is considered the founder of US painting. He painted portraits. Stewart, among others, created portraits of the first six presidents of the then young country.


Early years

He is the third child in the family of a Scottish immigrant in the United States. My father was engaged in the manufacture of snuff, a fashionable pastime of the rich at the time. The mother came from a family of landowners living in Rhode Island. The boy was born in Sonderstone. In 1762 the family moved to Newport. The boy showed artistic abilities and was sent to study with a local artist named Cosmo Alexander, a Scotsman by birth. One of the genres of that time was the image of hunting trophies, hunting scenes, images of hunting dogs. Preserved picture of 12-year-old Gilbert "Hunter and Spaniels" in this genre.


In 1771, Cosmo Alexander moved to his homeland in Scotland. Gilbert went with his teacher to improve and study in Britain. But a year later, Cosmo died and the young man was forced to earn a living. Circumstances were unfortunate for him and he returned to Rhode Island. The country was in turmoil due to social unrest, hostilities (the so-called American Revolution - the struggle for liberation from the power of Royal Britain). In 1775 Gilbert again went to Britain to study. His teacher was the Anglo-American artist Benjamin West, a supporter of classicism in its boring academic version. Benjamin studied for six years. But Gilbert did not become a follower of academism. Since 1777 he has been exhibiting his paintings at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Then, for the first time, he succeeded and his paintings and portraits are in demand. The young man incurred debts and almost got into the butcher's shop as a vicious debtor. To avoid creditors and imprisonment, he secretly fled to the city of Dublin, where he continued to work as a portrait painter.

Return to USA

In 1793 he returned to the United States and lived in New York. Shortly afterwards, he moved to the then suburbs of Philadelphia, where he opened his own