United States • 1755−1828

American painter-portraitist. He studied with K. Alexander (1769); in 1773-92 lived and worked in the UK and Ireland. In the works of Stuart, one of the founders of the American portrait school, has embodied the advanced bourgeois educational ideas of the era of the liberation struggle of the British colonies in North America.

Gilbert Stuart was the third child in the family. Father, also Gilbert Stuart, an immigrant from Scotland, worked at the mill for the manufacture of snuff, and his mother, Elisabeth Anthony Stuart, was descended from a family of landowners from Rhode island. At the age of seven years the future artist and his family moved to Newport. From an early age he showed inclination to painting, studied under Scottish artist Cosmo Alexander, and in 1771, at the age of 14 years together with him went to Edinburgh to complete his artistic education. However, Alexander died the next year, and after a short, unsuccessful attempts to earn a living painting Stuart returned to Newport.

As the prospects of education in America seemed unfavorable because of the war, and the Stewart family emigrated to Nova Scotia in 1775 he again went to England. Soon he began to study with Benjamin West, and in 1777, exhibited at the Royal Academy of arts[1]. In the future, his career has been very successful, not least due to the success of the painting "the Skater", and at some point the price of the paintings of Stuart exceeded the prices of paintings of the most famous English artists, including Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua Reynolds. However, Stewart was very careless about money, and once had nearly been sent to debtor's prison. In 1787 he fled to Dublin, and in 1793 returned to the United States, settling in new York.

In 1795 he moved to suburban Philadelphia, where he opened a workshop. There he not only could paint, but had the opportunity to meet many celebrities. So, Stewart made several portraits of George Washington, including the most famous, unfinished "The Athenaeum". Later this portrait was used to create the portrait of Washington on the dollar bill. During his life, Stewart took his 130 copies.

In 1803 Stuart opened a Studio in Washington, and in 1805 due to financial difficulties moved to Boston. In 1824 he suffered a stroke, which left him the rest of his life partially paralyzed. Nevertheless, he continued to paint and in the last two years of life.

Stuart died in Boston at the age of 72 years. From-for debts of his wife and daughter are unable to buy him a place in the cemetery, and Stewart was buried in Boston common in a common grave. In ten years, the family has recovered from the financial shocks and was planning to move the remains of the artist in Newport, but are unable to identify them.

Currently, Gilbert Stuart is widely recognized seminal figure of American painting. His paintings are in the collections of the most prestigious museums in the United States. The house where he was born, survived and in 1930 was turned into a Museum.

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