North America, American, New York
50 1/8 in. x 40 1/4 in. (127.32 cm x 102.24 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, The Blount Collection
Currently On View
Gilbert Stuart painted his famous Athenaeum portrait of George Washington from life in Germantown, Pennsylvania, in 1796. It was an immediately influential image, both artistically and politically, and Stuart (or his studio assistants) received commissions from private individuals and governmental agencies to make some seventy copies of it.
Thomas Hicks, a popular portraitist of the mid-nineteenth century, painted this copy some seventy years later, emulating the unfinished character that contributes to the work’s sense of immediacy and spontaneity. Hicks made several copies, but his reasons for making them are unknown. He may simply have responded to a ready market that continued to thrive because of the social, political and historical importance of the nation's first president.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 10, p. 52.