Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New decision

I am now determined to write something about how the sitter Samuel Meeker and his portrait painter Gilbert Stuart met, the time and place of the intersection. It can be speculated that this meeting was a positive one, just by the nature of Stuart's personality; George Mason writes "Daily his rooms were thronged with visitors, who thought it a privilege to sit to him, and who were ready to pay anything that he thought proper to charge them. At these sittings he was always entertaining. Dr. Waterhouse (a biographer of Stuart) said of his colloquial power:

"In conversation and confabulation he was inferior to no man among us. He made a point to keep those talking who were sitting to him for their portraits, each in his own way, free and easy. This called up his resources of judgment. To military men he spoke of battles by sea and land; with statesmen, on Hume's or Gibbon's history; with lawyers on jurisprudence or remarkable criminal trials; with the merchant in his way; with the man of leisure in his way, and with the ladies in all ways. When putting the rich farmer on his canvas, he would go along with him from seed time to harvest; he would descant on the nice points of a horse, an ox, a cow, sheep or pig, and surprise him with his just remarks on the process of making cheese and butter, or astonish him with his profound knowledge of manures, or the food of plants. ...He had wit at will--always ample, sometimes redundant."

1 comment:

emikk said...

Seems like a real nice guy as well as a great go girl!

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