Both paintings are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use the download or zoom icons under the images on the museum’s pages.
18th century painter Gilbert Stuart is an artist whose historical stature suffers from “greatest hits” syndrome. His portraits of early U.S. presidents, most famously his iconic portrayals of George Washington, overshadow his accomplishments as a painter and portraitist.
In this double portrait, Stuart pulls out the stops to portray a Spanish diplomat and his sixteen-year-old American bride at the time of their wedding, decked out in the elaborate finery customary in Spain at the time.
Stuart brought a European sensibility to his work — learned during his time in England as a student of Benjamin West — and was the most highly regarded portrait painter in America.
His command of the brush is evident in his confident handling of fabric and the decorative elements of clothing; the economical notation of hair, lace and brocade; and the lively, glowing visages of his young subjects.