Gilbert Stuart / Baron Fitzgibbon / 1789Gilbert Stuart
Baron Fitzgibbon

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Creator Name: Stuart, Gilbert
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1755 - 1828
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: Gilbert Stuart
Title: Baron Fitzgibbon
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1789
Creation End Date: 1789
Creation Date: 1789
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Unframed: 245cm x 154cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1919.910
Credit Line: General Income Fund
Provenance: family of the sitter, Earls of Clare, to A. Beresford-Hope, Bedgebury, Kent (1864). Isaac Lewis (1919). (Knoedler).

Born in Rhode Island and trained in London, Stuart is best known for his bold and expressive technique. Yet he adapted his style to fit his patrons' tastes. After moving from London to Ireland in 1787, he chose to render the faces of leading politicians with fine, invisible brushstrokes. For this portrait of John Fitzgibbon (1749-1802), the just-appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Stuart reserved dashing paint handling for such areas as the sitter's new, gold-encrusted robe of office and the embroidered purse by his feet bearing Great Britain's coat-of-arms. Represented as both noble and aloof in a full-length format, Fitzgibbon divided contemporary opinion: while his status as the first Irishman since the 1720s to be appointed Lord Chancellor accounted for his popularity in some circles, his promotion of Ireland's union into Britain made others despise him.

During treatment, museum conservators discovered that the painting was painted on a linen tablecloth, which explains the vertical and horizontal ridges that appear on the painting's surface.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1919.910
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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