John Singleton Copley

1738 (Boston, Mass.) – 1815 (London)

Copley gained West’s support when he sent, anonymously, a painting done in Boston to London. He corresponded with both West and Reynolds, resisting West’s advice to come to London for eight more years. His father was a Boston tea-merchant, and eventually the famous Tea Party made him decide his future lay in England. Both Peale and Stuart studied for a time with Copley, Stuart painting his portrait. Meeting Copley in Boston persuaded Trumbull that he too should become an artist.

Johann Friedrich Overbeck

1789 (Lübeck, Germany) – 1869 (Rome)

Cornelius was Overbeck’s fellow-founder of the group of artists known as the Nazarenes; Schnorr wrote to Overbeck asking to join the group before coming to Italy with Olivier. Lund studied with Overbeck and Cornelius and also joined the Nazarenes. Mendelssohn’s uncle, Prussian consul in Rome, commissioned Overbeck, Cornelius and others to paint biblical frescos in his house; Mendelssohn himself visited Overbeck’s studio, though he scorned the minor Nazarenes. Thorvaldsen, also working in Rome, bought one of Overbeck’s paintings for his collection.

Johann Christian Reinhart

1761 (Hof, Bavaria, now Germany) – 1847 (Rome)

Reinhart met Schiller as a young man: they became lifelong friends. In Rome, he befriended Thorvaldsen, Koch and Carstens, mainstays of the expatriate artist community. Reinhart is thought to have been responsible for mockingly giving the group of artists known as the Nazarenes their name: unlike his friend Koch, he did not dally with them. Koch and he together developed a heroic mode of landscape painting.

Jean-Baptiste Greuze

1725 (Tournus, France) – 1805 (Paris)

Diderot described the work of Greuze — his favourite contemporary artist — as “morality in paint” (the friendship later crumbled.) Vigée-Le Brun studied under him, and made several copies of his work. He grumbled to Fragonard that fame and fortune had deserted him.

Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg

1783 (Blåkrog, Schleswig, now Denmark) – 1853 (Copenhagen)

Abildgaard taught him, but also personally impeded his progress. He studied further with David in Paris, and in Rome joined the group of expatriate artists around Thorvaldsen. Lund the romanticist and Eckersberg the neo-classicist both held professorships in Copenhagen.

J. L. Lund

Johan Ludwig Lund

1777 (Kiel, Germany) – 1867 (Copenhagen)

Abildgaard taught him in Copenhagen, where Friedrich, a fellow-student, became a friend. He also studied under David, in Paris. The Danish expatriate Thorvaldsen, and Overbeck and Cornelius, leaders of the Nazarenes, were among his close friends and professional colleagues during prolonged stays in Rome. Eckersberg and Lund (romanticist and classicist respectively) were fellow-professors at the Royal Danish Academy.

Honoré Daumier

1808 (Marseille) – 1979 (Valmondais, France)

Daumier worked alongside Balzac and Grandville on a comic journal, becoming close with Balzac, whose work he later illustrated. Delacroix admired him, and owned paintings by him. He stayed with Rousseau in Barbizon, and was friends with Gautier and Baudelaire. He worked with Manet, Courbet and Corot to improve official exhibition rules. Hugo organised a major exhibition of his drawings, paintings and sculptures; financially unsuccessful, it encouraged a younger generation. His lifelong friend Corot is said to have bought for Daumier the cottage in which, blind and impoverished, he lived out his last years, though the exact facts are disputed.

A. J. Carstens

Asmus Jacob Carstens

1754 (Schleswig, Germany) – 1798 (Rome)

He was taught by Abildgaard. Koch and Carstens were leading lights in the expatriate romanticist artist community in Rome, and were mutually influential. Thorvaldsen, another of the same group, also benefitted from Carstens’ friendship and support.

Gilbert Stuart

Gilbert Stewart

1755 (North Kingstown, R.I.) – 1828 (Boston, Mass.)

Stuart worked as West’s assistant for 5 years in London, and as a young member of the Royal Academy knew and was influenced by Reynolds, Gainsborough and Copley (all of whose portraits he painted before returning to the U.S.). He was notorious for working slowly, living beyond his means, and leaving canvases unfinished. Jefferson, one of many establishment figures to sit for Stuart, spent 20 years trying in exasperation to get a finished painting out of him. Morse was a correspondent. Trumbull, who had shared a studio in London, set up in New York to avoid fighting for the same portraiture market.’’