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Gilbert Stuart
Suggested Reading



America's Old Masters: Benjamin West, John Singleton Copley, Charles Wilson Peale and Gilbert Stuart
(James Thomas Flexner )
Though Flexner is now recognized as a master, this 1939 title was his first volume on American art. In it he profiles Benjamin West (1738-1820), John Singleton Copely (1738-1815), Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827), and Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828). For this edition, 31 of the original illustrations have been rephotographed from new prints, and 38 additional illustrations have been included. A benchmark title for art history collections.

Five early American painters
(Donald Braider )
Brief biographies of five early American painters including Benjamin West, John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, and John Trumbull.

Gilbert Stuart
(Carrie Rebora Barratt)
The most successful and resourceful portraitist of Americaís early national period, Gilbert Stuart (1755Ė1828) possessed enormous natural talent, bringing his witty and irascible manner to bear on each of his works. This handsome book highlights Stuartís achievements by presenting more than ninety portraits of exceptional quality, ranging from the early works he produced in Newport, Rhode Island, to those he executed just before his death in Boston.
Carrie Rebora Barratt and Ellen G. Miles show how Stuart developed and maintained a distinctive portrait style, tailoring his portrayals to fit his subjects. They trace the development of his art from his hometown of Newport, where he proved his talent, to his years in London and Dublin, where he mastered the techniques of the English late-eighteenth-century Grand Manner, to his return to America (no longer the Colonies but now the United States), where he dealt with clients in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, and Boston. The authors provide a short essay about Stuart in each of the sites of his production, which introduces the works painted there. There is also a special section devoted to Stuartís famous and popular portraits of Washington, the so-called Vaughan, Athenaeum, and Lansdowne portraits. These works are discussed in terms of patronage, technique, chronology, and interpretation. The most comprehensive book on the artistís work to date, Gilbert Stuart is essential for anyone who admires American art and history.
This book is the catalogue for an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 18, 2004 to February 27, 2005) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (April 10 to July 31, 2005), the first major show of Gilbert Stuart portraits since 1967.
Carrie Rebora Barratt is Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Ellen G. Miles is Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

The Genius of Gilbert Stuart
(Dorinda Evans )
Gilbert Stuart was probably the most gifted American portraitist of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He is best known for his "Athenaeum" portrait of George Washington, which is today a national icon. In this book, Dorinda Evans combines a wealth of original insights with revealing new documentation to present a long-needed, scholarly treatment of Stuart's life and influential work.
Evans begins by tracing Stuart's early years and artistic beginnings in Rhode Island. She follows him to London, where he rose to prominence among such artistic luminaries as Sir Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West. She then examines his career in the United States, where he became the favored portraitist for the country's leading citizens. In assessing Stuart's artistic importance, Evans argues that his 1796 "Athenaeum" portrait of Washington--the most recognized likeness of the president--was a landmark in the expression of contemporary ideas about moral strength. More generally, she shows that Stuart's painting reflected a genius for interpreting the sitter's personality and a growing awareness of painting's public role in conveying uplifting messages about social dignity and virtue. She challenges the view that his later paintings show a decline, revealing many as concerned with expressing the human soul in a fresh and naturalistic way.
Evans also explores Stuart's private life, discounting recent portrayals of him as an outcast and a confidence trickster. She concludes that his notoriously erratic behavior, which veered from prolonged lethargy to reckless activity and extravagance, was a sign of manic-depressive illness. Evans gathered information about Stuart from a wide variety of previously untapped sources, including unpublished interviews with the artist that shed new light on controversies over his portraits of Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The book presents not only Stuart's most famous pictures--including The Skater and his portraits of early American presidents--but also many paintings never before published. Meticulously researched, elegantly written, and richly illustrated, The Genius of Gilbert Stuart will become the standard account of one of America's most important early artists.


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