THE WORLD OF SAMUEL MEEKER, MERCHANT OF PHILADELPHIA, AND GILBERT STUART, AMERICAN PORTRAIT ARTIST
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
As mentioned in the last entry, J.D. Herbert is an important source on Stuart's Irish years. The following is related in G. Mason.
Herbert was invited by Stuart to visit him at his residence, promising to give him a bed and that he should "dine on pork fed on apples." The invitation was accepted.
"On the ensuing Sunday I went to Stillorgan, and as I walked up a narrow road that led to that quarter from the Black Rock, I saw some very pretty pigs; it struck me at one moment's view that they belonged to Stuart, and that I could not be distant from his house: to try that I was right in my conjecture, I took up little pebbles and threw them at them. They ran on and I followed. They led to a gate, into which they entered. It lay open, and before the house I saw Stuart, tending some flower-pots.
"'Ha,' said he, 'you are come.'
"Yes, please the pigs.'
"Then I told him how they had led me. He was delighted at the recital, and more complimented than anything I could say in praise of his pictures. He said, 'You shall taste pork today of their kind, and you will acknowledge my plan to be a good one for feeding them.' He then took me to his garden, which was well cropped, all by his own hands; walked me over the grounds, and pointed out his skilll in farming; he valued himself more on these points than on painting. ...We then got back to the house, and dinner was served. I ate the apple-fed pork, and was greatly pleased with it. Stuart entertained me till bed-time...Many other anecdotes followed, which would spin out a rare tale."
at 10:37 AM