Hello - I was wondering if you could help me out here. I just purchased this oil painting of George Washington and the seller did not know who the artist was. In fact, neither did I until I looked closely at the signature. From my research Gilbert Stuart did not sign his artwork which leads me to believe this is not authentic. However, from what I can tell I do know the painting is a true oil painting and not a print and it is very old. The owner said he got it from an estate sale and estimated it from 1870-1890. The canvas on the back is very old and brown from age.
My questions are: could this be a Gilbert Stuart? I highly doubt, but if it's not what's more interesting is why would someone sign his name to pass it off? the painting is of very good quality so I assume the original artist was someone who was very talented too. I just find it very interesting how many hands this could have passed through with either knowing it was unauthentic or who's put the signature there etc. Were his paintings counterfeit a lot in the late 1800's? Sorry I am rambling, just curious to understand this painting more...