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Colonel Isaac Barré

Gilbert Stuart

American Art

Ten years into his stay in London, having trained under the American-born master Benjamin West and established himself as a rising portraitist, Gilbert Stuart painted this striking likeness of the war hero and fiery Member of Parliament Colonel Isaac Barré. A leader of the opposition and a vehement advocate for the American colonies, Barré was known for his 1765 “Sons of Liberty” speech opposing the Stamp Act (which imposed taxes on the colonies without their consent). In this forceful portrait inspired by the works of the seventeenth-century Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck, Stuart employed heavy shadow to mask the deformed right side of Barré’s face, where the sitter had taken a bullet at the Battle of Quebec (1759) while serving under Major-General James Wolfe during the French and Indian War.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1785
DIMENSIONS 35 13/16 x 27 3/4 in. (91 x 70.5 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Unsigned
COLLECTIONS American Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 16.25
CREDIT LINE Carll H. de Silver Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Gilbert Stuart (American, 1755-1828). Colonel Isaac Barré, 1785. Oil on canvas, 35 13/16 x 27 3/4 in. (91 x 70.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 16.25
IMAGE overall, 16.25_glass_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (85%)
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