Historic Germantown: Philadelphia, PA

Gilbert Stuart

Portrait Artist
Gilbert Stuart

Throughout the world people envision George Washington the way he was painted by Gilbert Stuart. Throughout his career, Stuart painted several famous portraits of the president, among others.

Stuart was born on December 3, 1755 in Narragansett, Rhode Island. He studied under Cosmo Alexander, a Scottish portrait painter, then working in Rhode Island. Alexander accompanied Stuart to Scottland in 1772. Stuart studied at the University of Glasgow after his master died, and then returned to America. He later set up a studio in England, then several in America: Boston, Washington, New York, and of course, Germantown.

Today Gilbert Stuart is famous for his portraits which are displayed in museums across the globe. Beside for his paintings of Washington, Stuart's other major works include portraits of Benjamin West, William Woolett, John Hall, John Philip Kemble, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and one of W. Grant of Congalton skating in St. Jame's Park.

1. "Stuart, Gilbert." The Dictionary of National Biography. Volume XIX. Edited by Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1917.