Portrait of Colonel David Humphreys by Gilbert Stuart
Portrait of Colonel David Humphreys by Gilbert Stuart Portrait of Colonel David Humphreys by Gilbert Stuart Portrait of Colonel David Humphreys by Gilbert Stuart
Portrait of Colonel David Humphreys by Gilbert Stuart

Portrait of Colonel David Humphreys by Gilbert Stuart

  • The highly celebrated American portraitist Gilbert Stuart composed this work
  • It captures the American Revolutionary War hero Colonel David Humphreys
  • The work reveals Stuart's remarkable ability to capture the character of his subjects
  • One of the most important American painters of all time, Stuart's works are highly coveted
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Item No. 30-8855
$78,500
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Gilbert Stuart
1755-1828 | American

Portrait of Colonel David Humphreys

Oil on canvas

Gilbert Stuart is among the preeminent portrait painters in all of American art history, and was undoubtedly the most important artist of his generation. Portrait of Colonel David Humphreys is a superb example of his highly coveted portraiture, revealing his remarkable ability to capture the character and importance of his sitter. A Revolutionary War colonel and aide de camp to George Washington, Humphreys was an important early American political figure and close friend of the Washingtons. A very similar, though larger portrait of Colonel David Humphreys by Stuart is currently in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery (Connecticut). The present portrait is likely an earlier version of this later work, an indication of the importance of the sitter.

Stuart showed great promise as an artist as early as the age of seven. In 1770, he became acquainted with Scottish portraitist Cosmo Alexander, a visitor of the colonies who became a tutor to Stuart. Stuart later moved to Scotland with Alexander in 1771 to finish his studies, though Alexander died in Edinburgh one year later. Stuart tried unsuccessfully to maintain a living and pursue his painting career, but was eventually forced to return to his native Rhode Island in 1773.

His ambitions to become a painter were jeopardized by the outbreak of the American Revolution. Seeking a means of escape, he decided to set sail for England in 1775. He quickly became a student of fellow American portraitist Benjamin West, whose tutelage was so great that Stuart was exhibiting at the Royal Academy within two years. He found popularity painting important British political figures, but was forced to flee the country due to the incredible debt he amassed, returning to America in 1793. In 1795, he moved to Philadelphia, where he opened his famous studio. It was here where he would gain not only a foothold in the art world, but lasting eminence with his portraits of the most important Americans of the day.

Circa 1805-1810

Canvas: 18" high x 14" wide
Frame: 20 3/4" high x 16 3/4" wide
specifications
Period: 1700-1815
Origin:America
Subject:Portrait
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