Portraits of Artists

All  |  People You Should Know

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)

As in the case of his career as commander-in-chief, Washington’s most important act as president was his giving up the office. The significance of his retirement from the presidency is easily overlooked today, but his contemporaries knew what it meant. Most people assumed that Washington might be president as long as he lived, that he would be a kind of elected monarch like the king of Poland. Hence his retirement from the presidency enhanced his moral authority and set a precedent for future presidents.

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