Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


WRIGHT, Charles Cushing: USA , 1848, Bronze, 64 mm
Obv: Bust of Gilbert Stuart    GILBERT STUART
Rev: Fame crowning an artist with laurel and holding another wreath in readiness for a sculptor awaiting his turn    AMERICAN ART- UNION. 1848
Ref: Julian 222/PE-33;  Storer 2042;  Marqusee 401; Jaeger and Bowers #164; Pollard 879/955:  Musante CCW-54;  Weiss BW284

Gilbert Charles Stuart (1755-1828), U.S. painter, was one of the great portraitists of his era and the creator of the most popular image of George Washington. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and later went to Edinburgh and then to London, where he worked in the studio of Benjamin West for several years. However, his mature style owed more to Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds than to West. He returned to the U.S. in 1793 and settled in Philadelphia, at that time the political and cultural capital of the nation. He quickly established himself as the nation's leading portrait painter, a position he held until his death. Of his nearly 1000 portraits, undoubtedly the most famous is the unfinished head of George Washington at the Boston Athenaeum. Other fine portraits are those of Mrs. Richard Yates and "The Skater", both at the National Gallery in Washington.
This is one of three medals issued by the American Art Union. The others honor Washington Allston and John Trumbull.

LINK to Gilbert Stuart's Portrait of George Washington (The Lansdowne Portrait) (from National Portrait Gallery)

LINK to Gilbert Stuart's The Skater (from National Gallery of Art)