Feb 21st 2010 4:32AM This is not really "a find." Gilbert Stuart painted several different portraits of George Washington AND he would make copies of them himself.
from Wikipedia -
"Stuart painted George Washington in a series of iconic portraits, each of them leading in turn to a demand for copies and keeping Stuart busy and highly paid for years. The most famous and celebrated of these likenesses, known as The Athenaeum, is currently portrayed on the United States one dollar bill. Stuart, along with his daughters, painted a total of 130 reproductions of The Athenaeum. However, Stuart never completed the original version; after finishing Washington's face, the artist kept the original version to make the copies."
Feb 21st 2010 4:04AM I agree with CJ. The current owner of this painting may not be wealthy at all. After so many generations, it's possible that he's just a middle class American. Too bad the article didn't tell us much about him!
Feb 21st 2010 2:45AM This article is not very well written, AND it sounds like many of the people commenting on the value of this painting, don't know anything about how old paintings are appraised! First of all, the article doesn't state the SIZE of the painting (except to say it is a "smaller piece.") Is it a miniature? It may not be a full size portrait. Is the painting signed anywhere by Gilbert Stuart? I can't see his signature in the photos, although it may be there. Gilbert Stuart painted George Washington many times! And Gilbert Stuart's apprentices painted many reproductions of these portraits. Stuart's portraiture was so popular that many other painters tried to make their work look like his. Even if this portrait was painted by Gilbert Stuart himself, it is not "the one and only!" Does anyone know what year this particular portrait was painted? And where? The writer of this article doesn't tell us any of these important facts which would put this painting in historical (and art market) context. The fact that this painting hasn't been cleaned is NOT why the estimated value is lower than others valued in the millions. But this article seems to imply that!