President  |  Vice President  |  First Lady  |  Mrs. Cheney  |  News & Policies 
History & ToursKids  |  Your Government  |  Appointments  |  JobsContactGraphic version

Email Updates  |  Español  |  Accessibility  |  Search  |  Privacy Policy  |  Help

White House Dream Team: Gilbert Stuart

Gilbert Stuart

Gilbert Stuart set the standard for future American painters. He is best known for his colorful style and vivid portraits of George Washington and other founding fathers. Gilbert, who grew up in Rhode Island, learned to paint from experienced artists. He moved to London as a young man and studied with Benjamin West, a respected artist. Gilbert's painting, The Skater, was so admired by the British Royal Academy of Arts that he opened his own studio in London.

Gilbert returned to the United States and was asked to paint a portrait of President George Washington, who posed for Gilbert in 1795. Gilbert made several paintings of the nation's first president. His unique style of decorative brushwork and brilliant colors made his paintings of Washington come alive. Gilbert painted many other distinguished Americans, including the first five presidents of the United States. Gilbert's devotion to painting left a legacy of more than 1,000 works.

Congress purchased one of Gilbert's paintings of George Washington for the White House in 1800. During the War of 1812, First Lady Dolley Madison rescued this painting before the British burned the White House in 1814. Today, this painting hangs in the East Room of the White House.

December 3, 1755

July 9, 1828

To paint

Taught by mentor Benjamin West in London

Great American Portrait Painter

Character Trait

North Kingston, Rhode Island

Baseball Players
Jackie Robinson
Roberto Clemente
Lou Gehrig

Red Grange
Jesse Owens
Wilma Rudolph

Samuel Adams
Esther De Berdt Reed
Lemuel Haynes

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune
Américo Paredes
Anne Sullivan Macy

John Jay
Clara Barton
Booker T. Washington

Laura Ingalls Wilder
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Elwyn Brooks White

More Artists
Henry Tanner
Gilbert Stuart
Mary Cassatt

  |   India's Quiz:

What was Abraham Lincoln's occupation before he became President?           |     |     |     |