Gilbert Stuart: Washington Fortune

Posted by admin on Sunday, February 27, 2022

Gilbert Stuart Money Quote saying he thought Washington portraits would pay off his debts and do well. Gilbert Stuart said:
Make a fortune by Washington alone. I calculate I will repay my creditors Quote

“I expect to make a fortune by Washington alone. I calculate upon making a plurality of his portraits… I will repay my English and Irish creditors” — Gilbert Stuart


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In this quote, Gilbert Stuart is expressing his expectation to earn a significant amount of money (“make a fortune”) through painting portraits of George Washington. Specifically:

  • Stuart intends to create multiple portraits of Washington (“a plurality of his portraits”) to sell, indicating he sees it as a lucrative commercial opportunity.
  • He states his aim is to use the profits earned from these portraits to “repay” debts owed to creditors in England and Ireland
  • The best interpretation is that Stuart saw Washington as a subject who would generate huge public demand and financial success for his artwork, allowing Stuart to profit greatly through repeat commissions and settle outstanding obligations. He viewed Washington’s iconic status as a path to both artistic renown and monetary gain that could resolve his debts.

Overall, the quote conveys Stuart’s belief that capitalizing on his ability to capture the first President’s likeness through multiple portraits represented a chance to both earn wealth and get out of debt by painting “Washington alone.”

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