Portraits of Artists

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Artists  |  British  |  Colonials  |  Enslaved People  |  French  |  Germans  |  Natives  |  Spanish  |  Others

  • Mather BrownAmerican-born painter, active in England (1761—1831)
  • John Singleton CopleyAmerican painter, principally active in London after 1774 (1738—1815)
  • Ralph EarlAmerican painter, principally of portraits (1751—1801)
  • Jean-Antoine HoudonFrench sculptor who sometimes created his works from life-masks (1741—1828)
  • Charles Willson PealeAmerican painter, soldier; created first American museum (1741—1827)
  • Rembrandt PealeAmerican painter, son of Charles Willson Peale (1778—1860)
  • William RushAmerican sculptor (1756—1833)
  • Gilbert StuartAmerican painter of quintessential portraits, including George Washington (1755—1828)
  • Thomas SullyBritish-born painter, mainly of portraits (1783—1872)
  • John TrumbullAmerican artist, soldier at the Battle of Trenton (1756—1843)
  • John VanderlynAmerican artist, protégé of Aaron Burr (1775—1852)
  • Benjamin WestAmerican-born painter who moved to England in 1763 (1738—1820)

Since the heady moment when he married Martha Custis in 1759, combining their estates into one of the preeminent holdings in northern Virginia, everything Washington touched had turned to brass. He had failed repeatedly to grow profitable tobacco crops. In London his leaf had acquired an unshakable reputation for mediocrity. Meanwhile the expenses of maintaining a great planter’s lifestyle, while keeping up a slave labor force and several plantations, had proved unrelenting. His own debtors — former comrades-in-arms who unhesitatingly touched him for loans, neighbors with whom he ran accounts, tenants who owed him rent — were slow to pay, and sometimes never did; yet he was too tightly bound by the expectations of gentlemanly behavior to refuse a loan when asked, or to press a debtor insistently when payment fell due. By 1763 Washington found himself deep in debt, doubting that he would ever extricate himself by growing tobacco, and casting about to find some way out of his predicament.

Fred Anderson
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000)