Gilbert Stuart (American, 17551828)
Oil on canvas; 44 1/4 x 35 7/8 in. (112.4 x 91.1 cm)
Gift of Lucille S. Pfeffer, 1977 (1977.243)
This portrait, representing Revolutionary War hero General Horatio Gates (17281806), was painted long after he led his troops to victory at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. Although his military career was turbulent, the English-born Gates is represented in the uniform of a brigadier general, decorated with the medal that Congress ordered struck to commemorate his triumph at Saratoga. In his hand is a copy of the Saratoga Convention. The painting descended in the family of Gates' good friend, Colonel Ebenezer Stevens. The work is a blend of Stuart's more painterly English style and the Copleyesque forthrightness that defined American high style.