John Trumbull

1756 (Lebanon, Conn.) – 1843 (New York)

Without being considered a major artist, Trumbull’s paintings are icons of American nationalism. Meeting Copley in Boston persuaded Trumbull to become an artist (he was inspired by Copley’s personal elegance as well as his work). West, who taught him in London, interceded to stop him being executed as a spy (he still spent several months in prison). He visited David in Paris, and introduced another admirer, Jefferson, to him. Franklin and Jefferson both sat for him, though he later fell out with Jefferson. Gilbert, who painted his portrait, had shared a studio in London, but became something of a rival in the U.S.