THE WORLD OF SAMUEL MEEKER, MERCHANT OF PHILADELPHIA, AND GILBERT STUART, AMERICAN PORTRAIT ARTIST

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Basics 101; Every person in this nation knows the work of Stuart

George Washington (the Athenaeum portrait), 1796

Gilbert Stuart’s second and most important portrait of George Washington was executed three years after returning from England. Best known as the image on the one-dollar bill, it is considered the most famous painting of the first president. The portrait was painted when the president was 64 years old; and is known as the “Athenaeum portrait” because it was acquired by the Boston Athenaeum just after the artist’s death. (Today it is owned jointly by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.)


This famous 'head' of Washington was left unfinished by Stuart (another different, full length portrait was commissioned in its stead) and kept by the artist during his lifetime, enabling him to make, later, numerous replicas.
~



1 comment:

willow said...

Interesting! I've wondered why it was unfinished. You can see Stuart's marvelous style in your painting as well.

 
Site Meter