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Rufus King

Rufus King
Gilbert Stuart, 3 Dec 1755 - 9 Jul 1828
Rufus King, 24 Mar 1755 - 29 Apr 1827
Oil on panel
Panel: 77.5 x 64.8 x 0.3cm (30 1/2 x 25 1/2 x 1/8")
Frame: 108.6 x 95.9 x 11.4cm (42 3/4 x 37 3/4 x 4 1/2")
Printed Material\Document
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Table
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair\Armchair
Rufus King: Male
Rufus King: Politics and Government\State Legislator\New York
Rufus King: Politics and Government\US Senator\New York
Rufus King: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
Rufus King: Politics and Government\Diplomat\Minister
Rufus King: Politics and Government\Statesman\Signer of Constitution
Rufus King: Politics and Government\Vice-Presidential Candidate
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; this acquisition was made possible by a generous contribution from the James Smithson Society
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Scarboro, Massachusetts (now in Maine)
Rufus King’s public career spanned the administrations of the first six U.S. presidents. He represented Massachusetts during the Continental Congress, helped frame the Constitution, opposed the War of 1812, and was the Federalist Party’s last presidential candidate in 1816. During his first year as minister to Great Britain (1796–1803), King presented Lord Lansdowne with Gilbert Stuart’s famous full-length portrait of George Washington, which is now displayed on this museum’s second floor.
Stuart painted this portrait in 1819–20, when King was serving as a senator from New York (1813–25) and trying to rouse opposition to admitting Missouri as a slave state. John Quincy Adams witnessed him speak on “the natural liberty of man, and its incompatibility with slavery in any shape.” He noted that King spoke, “with great power, and the great slaveholders […]
Nacido en Scarboro, Massachusetts (hoy en Maine)
La carrera pública de Rufus King abarcó los gobiernos de los primeros seis presidentes de EE.UU. Representó a Massachusetts durante el Congreso Continental, ayudó a estructurar la Constitución, se opuso a la Guerra de 1812 y fue el último candidato presidencial del Partido Federalista en 1816. En su primer año como embajador en Gran Bretaña (1796–1803), King obsequió a Lord Lansdowne el famoso retrato de cuerpo entero de George Washington pintado por Gilbert Stuart, expuesto ahora en el segundo piso de este museo.
Stuart pintó este retrato en 1819–20, cuando King era senador por Nueva York (1813–25) y buscaba apoyo contra la admisión de Misuri como estado esclavista. John Quincy Adams lo escuchó hablar de “la libertad natural del hombre y su incompatibilidad con la esclavitud de cualquier tipo”. Adams comento que King habló “con gran fuerza, mientras los grandes dueños de esclavos [...] se mordían los labios y apretaban los puños”.
Frederick Gore King, [descendant of sitter], 1926; sold to Herbert Lee Pratt, New York; his granddaughter Edith Gibb McLane [Mrs. Edith G. Dillon], Annapolis, Md.; purchased 1988 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 136