Sarah Goodridge (1788 – 1853) painted three miniatures of the artist Gilbert Stuart. Stuart felt that Goodridge was the artist who was most able to capture his image and personality. That likeness, so “full of fire and energy,” was later engraved by Asher B. Durand for inclusion in the National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans, published in 1834.
Jane Stuart, daughter to Gilbert Stuart, reminiscing decades later about her father, noted that “Miss Goodrich, the miniature painter…was a great favorite of his,” her portrait “the most life-like of anything ever painted of him.”
The miniature pictured below was the favorite of Stuart, who thought this miniature in particular was the best and “only true likeness” of him. He valued this work so much that he presented it to his mother on July 21, 1827. The miniature’s bracelet was made of woven hair from Gilbert Stuart and his wife Charlotte.
Gilbert Stuart, 1825-1827 by Sarah Goodridge
watercolor on ivory 1 7/8 x 1 5/8 in. (4.8 x 4.1 cm) oval
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Jane Stuart (1812 – 1888) painted two portraits of her father, each modeled after this miniature painted by Goodridge. Both of Jane’s paintings of Stuart are on exhibit at the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace and Museum’s gallery as part of the “Jane: Heir to the Stuart Genius” exhibition.
An exciting component of the show is the return of Gilbert Stuart himself to his place of birth. Jane Stuart painted two portraits of her father modeled after a miniature painting of Gilbert Stuart by Sarah Goodridge. The painting Gilbert Stuart, on loan from the Rhode Island Historical Society will be displayed next to Portrait of Gilbert Stuart owned by the Gilbert Stuart Museum.
Discover the art of Jane Stuart. With Jane: Heir to the Stuart Genius, we are very excited to bring original works of Jane Stuart together here at the home of her champion, her father Gilbert Stuart. Visitors will get a rare glimpse into the life and works of Stuart’s youngest daughter, the bearer of his artistic legacy.
The exhibition will end on October 10, 2016