Portraits of Artists

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  • 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)

In 1789 the South and especially Virginia had been the impelling force in creating the nation. By 1815 the South and slaveholders still seemed to be in control of the national government. President Madison was a slaveholder. So too were Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, James Monroe, the secretary of state, and George W. Campbell, the secretary of the treasury. All Republican leaders of the House were slaveholders. In 1815 the United States had four missions in Europe: two of them were held by slaveholders. The chief justice of the United States was a slaveholder, as were a majority of the other members of the Court. Since 1789 three of the four presidents, two of the five vice-presidents, fourteen of the twenty-six presidents pro tempore the Senate, and five of the ten Speakers of the House had been slaveholders.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)