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You've seen Gilbert Stuart's work even if you don't think you have.


You may not even realize you've been carrying around a portrait done by Stuart! A flipped version of his unfinished painting of George Washington, referred to as the Antheneum portrait and co-owned by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is the exact same one that is on the one-dollar bill.


Stuart was super popular both in America and Europe painting dignitaries, the first six Presidents, and socialites. Good financial management however, is essential and he racked up debt like crazy, at one point almost getting sent to debtors' prison. Instead of making more and spending less, he ran away to Ireland where he fell into deeper debt.


Eventually he found a decent business model selling copies of his most famous painting of George Washington at $100 a pop.


In 1940, the US Postal Service released a series of stamps commemorating famous Americans in the fields of art, music, and science, which featured Stuart on the one-cent stamp.


His childhood home in Saunderstown, Rhode Island was restored in 1930 and designated a historic landmark in the ‘60s. The museum is open from May to October. Junior docents dressed in historic garb lead tours on the weekend.


 


 


 


Painting: "Gilbert Stuart Selfportrait" by Gilbert Stuart - Resides at the Redwood Library and Athenaeum in Newport, Rhode Island. Digitization taken from the National Gallery of Art. Previous digitization taken from the Center for Study of the Principles of the American Founding, University of Chicago.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gilbert_Stuart_Selfportrait.jpg#…


 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Gilbert Stuart

Gilbert Charles Stuart (born Stewart; December 3, 1755 – July 9, 1828) was an American painter from Rhode Island Colony who is widely considered one of America's foremost portraitists. His best-known work is an unfinished portrait of George Washington, begun in 1796, which is sometimes referred to as the Athenaeum Portrait. Stuart retained the portrait and used it to paint scores of copies that were commissioned by patrons in America and abroad. The image of George Washington featured in the painting has appeared on the United States one-dollar bill for more than a century and on various postage stamps of the 19th century and early 20th century.

Stuart produced portraits of more than 1,000 people, including the first six Presidents. His work can be found today at art museums throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, most notably the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Frick Collection in New York City, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the National Portrait Gallery, London, Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Gilbert Stuart