Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), Painter
Artist associated with 60 portraits
American-born Stuart sailed to Scotland with his mentor, portraitist Cosmo Alexander, in around 1772. He arrived in London in 1775 with little money and few prospects. He was hired by portraitist Benjamin West as a drapery painter; his own work improved and within two years was exhibiting at the Royal Academy. By 1782, Stuart was a successful portrait painter but, always careless financially, he was twice imprisoned for debt. In 1787, he moved to Dublin, where he continued both to paint and to accumulate debt. Stuart returned to the United States in 1793 living first in New York and then moving to Philadelphia where he set up a highly successful portrait studio.