Walter Robertson (Irish, ca. 1750–1802)
Watercolor on ivory
3 3/4 x 2 7/8 in. (9.5 x 7.3 cm)
Gift of J. William Middendorf II, 1968 (68.222.13)
Robertson was a leading miniaturist in Dublin before coming to New York in 1793 with the American portraitist Gilbert Stuart, who had been working in Dublin for several years. They made a plan that Robertson would paint copies of Stuart's portraits in America, an agreement that may have held for at least a few years, although very few examples of their work together are extant. They remained in New York for about a year and a half and then went to Philadelphia. Robertson painted this miniature of Abigail Willing Peters (17771841), daughter of the prominent Philadelphian Thomas Willing, based on Stuart's portrait of her (Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia).