Westward Movement, Eastern Instruction
This chapter starts by presenting the reports of early artists and itinerant activity. John James Audubon observed wildlife and painted portraits in Kentucky. He was a naturalist artist and first arrived in Kentucky in August 1807 with his business partner and fellow Frenchman, Ferdinand Rozier. Matthew Harris Jouett embarked upon a career after instruction from Gilbert Stuart. He became the most legendary portraitist in the history of Kentucky. The Steamboat travel launched Kentucky–Mississippi itinerancy. In addition, Chester Harding painted in Paris, Kentucky, and pursued Daniel Boone. The large number of extant unsigned and undocumented portraits in the Ohio River Valley poses an enormous challenge to potential detectives of its art history. One case study involves the portraits of Captain and Mrs. Benjamin Bayless and the careers of Aaron Houghton Corwine and Alonzo Douglass. John Wesley Jarvis visited Louisville and headed south to New Orleans. “Kentucky” West painted Lord Byron and was himself acclaimed a romantic hero. Cincinnati emerged as an urban center and attracted resident portrait artists. Though Thomas Sully never visited Kentucky, his portraiture was well known in the commonwealth. He also attracted students and sitters from Kentucky.
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