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Portraits

A true story of their final days on the Florida seashore, when a water cannon destroyed a suspicious package later found to contain miniature portraits by the celebrated American painter Gilbert Stuart

A picture taken the day before President Roosevelt’s death has been hidden away in an artist’s file until now

It took half a century for his critics to see his subjects as clearly as he did; but today he stands as America’s preeminent portraitist

John Singer Sargent, in common with Holbein and Van Dyck, was an international painter of portraits who did his major work in England. Read more >>

Peter Marié, a bon vivant of the Gilded Age, asked hundreds of Society’s prettiest women to allow themselves to be painted for him alone

FOR A DEBUTANTE in turn-of-the-ceiitury New York, the highest mark of approval was having Peter Marié request a miniature portrait. Read more >>

…so Lincoln joked. Actually he was eager to pose for portraits.

Declaring himself a “thorough democrat” George Caleb Bingham portrayed the American voter with an artist’s eye—and a seasoned politicians savvy

Between 1847 and 1855 George Caleb Bingham completed a half dozen or so canvases that are among the most unusual and interesting documents in the history of American painting. Read more >>

When Winifred Smith Rieber confidently agreed to paint a group portrait of America’s five pre-eminent philosophers, she had no idea it would be all but impossible even to get them to stay in the same room with one another.

Mother was off again, this time to New England to paint the Harvard philosophy department—all five of its members, and on a single canvas. Read more >>
Historians are still puzzling over the discovery of an official White House portrait of President Roger Darcy Amboy, who appears to have held our nation’s highest office somewhere between Van Buren and Buchanan. Read more >>

Painter to the Federalist aristocracy, Stuart created likenesses of leading citizens with great brilliance and exactitude.

The face is familiar. Every American has scanned it a thousand times; it passes from hand to hand in millions of ordinary business transactions every day of the year. Read more >>
The man who paints his own likeness in a sense turns inside out the famous line of Robert Burns. He is given the gift to show others how he sees himself. This is a revelation of no small interest or importance. Read more >>
The proper Baltimore gentry of the mid-nineteenth century who paid Hans Heinrich Bebie to paint their portraits posed for the staid, rather dour man (or so he seemed) whose own self-portrait appears to the left. Read more >>

Itinerant primitive painters dressed up the farmers and the burghers as they hoped posterity would remember them

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