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JOHN  BILL RICKETTS

Oil on canvas, c. 1795–99
29 3/8 x 24 3/16 in. (74.6 x 61.4 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; gift of Mrs. Robert B. Noyes in memory of Elisha Riggs
1942.14.1


Described in 1794 as "perhaps the most graceful, neat, and expert public performer on horseback, that ever appeared in any part of the world," John Bill Ricketts was a favorite equestrian of George Washington. He probably met Stuart in Dublin, before they both came to America. Stuart's sense of humor is on display in this portrait, which was left unfinished because of his impatience with the sitter. He sketched the head of a horse with Ricketts's hand around the muzzle and then, sometime later, playfully turned the aureole around Ricketts's head into another horse.


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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