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Peale, Charles WillsonDate of birth and death: 1741 - 1827
Nationality: AmericanUploaded artworks: 25
Charles Willson Peale was born in Chester, Queen Anne's County, Maryland in 1741. He studied for a time under John Hesselius and John Singleton Copley. John Beale Bordley and friends eventually raised enough money for him to travel to England to take instruction from Benjamin West. Peale studied with West for two years beginning in 1767, afterward returning to America and settling in Annapolis, Maryland. There, he taught painting to his younger brother, James Peale, who in time also became a noted artist. He painted portraits of American notables and visitors from overseas in Philadelphia. His estate, which is on the campus of La Salle University in Philadelphia, can still be visited. He also raised troops for the War of Independence and eventually gained the rank of captain in the Pennsylvania militia by 1777, having participated in several battles. While in the field, he continued to paint, doing miniature portraits of various officers in the Continental Army. He produced enlarged versions of these in later years. He served in the Pennsylvania state assembly in 1779â€“1780, after which he returned to painting full-time. Peale was quite prolific as an artist. While he did portraits of scores of historic figures, he is probably best known for his portraits of George Washington. The first time Washington ever sat for a portrait was with Peale in 1772, and there would be six other sittings; using these seven as models, Peale produced altogether close to 60 portraits of Washington.
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