Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


WRIGHT, Charles Cushing: USA, 1847, Bronze, 63 mm
Obv: Bust of Washington Allston    WASHINGTON ALLSTON
Rev: Fame crowning an artist with laurel and holding another wreath in readiness for a sculptor awaiting his turn     AMERICAN ART UNION 1847
Mintage = 200
Ref: Julian 201/PE-3;  Storer 1860;  Marqusee 409; Jaeger and Bowers #164;  Pollard 878/953;  Musante CCW-51;  Weiss BW283

Washington Allston (1779-1843) is considered to be the first important U.S. romantic painter. He was born in South Carolina and studied at the Royal academy in London, at the Louvre in Paris, and in Italy, which acquainted him with the Venetian and Roman masters. He also studied under Benjamin West.  He returned to the United States in 1818 and settled in Massachusetts. Allston was a significant figure in the experiments on dramatic subject matter and the use of light and atmospheric color, characteristic of early 19th century painting. Although is life's production was relatively small, he was a painter of distinction and at his best of remarkable power. He was also a writer of some note.
This is one of three medals issued by the American Art Union. The others honor Gilbert Stuart and John Trumbull.

LINK to Painting by Washington Allston, The Spanish Girl in Reverie (from www.metmuseum.org)