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JOHN FITZGIBBON

Oil on canvas, 1789–90
96 7/16 x 60 5/8 in. (245 x 154 cm)
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; General Income Fund
1919.910


Stuart's grand portrait of John FitzGibbon (1749–1802) celebrated FitzGibbon's rise in the summer of 1789 to Lord Chancellor of Ireland, a position that inspired in him the desire to accumulate the lavish trappings of status. Stuart's challenge was to capture one whose personality was in continual flux according to circumstance, and the result is uneven. Stuart may have thought FitzGibbon a patron who would appreciate the dazzling effects of costume over an insightful portrayal of character. Or it may be that Stuart found a perfect solution for such a calculating individual: he left FitzGibbon's face blank.


GALLERY:  1. Stuart in Newport & Scotland  |  2. Stuart in London  |  3. Stuart in Dublin  |  4. Stuart in New York
  5. Stuart in Philadelphia  |  6. George Washington Gallery  |  7. Stuart in Washington, D.C.   |  8. Stuart in Boston

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