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    Walter Robertson (Irish/American, 1750-1802)

    , Late 18th century
    Framed watercolor on ivory
    6 x 5 inches (15.2 x 12.7 cm)
    signed bottom left, 'W. Robertson'

    Walter Robertson was an Irish portraiture artist famous for his fine miniature work and his early association with Gilbert Stuart, the American artist well-known for his Athenaeum portraits of George Washington. Robertson came to New York with Stuart after Stuart had spent time in Dublin doing portraiture commissions. The two had an agreement that Robertson would complete portrait miniatures of Stuart's works which carried on for several years until the two traveled to Philadelphia where Robertson's work took on a life of its own. He later moved to India where he died in 1802.

    In this portrait of George Washington, Robertson captures in the painstakingly miniaturist form of watercolor on ivory, the essence of Washington the soldier. While Stuart would complete the full-length portrait of Washington in civilian dress, here Robertson has taken a turn from Charles Willson Peale in depicting George Washington as the leader of the Continental troops. The meticulous detail of the face, the clothing, including the jabot, the epaulets and officer's coat make this a historical treasure from an artist who lived through these early American days, working not only as a fine artist but as a chronicler of American history.

    Walter Robertson went on to complete portraits of many famous and important American figures until his death in 1802. Robertson's works are included in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution and in prominent museums and private collections around the world. His brother Charles (1760-1821) became a famous portrait miniaturist in his own right completing his portraits with distinctive slate-gray tones.

    The following provenance information was not included in the printed catalogue. Heritage regrets any confusion this may have caused.

    From a private collection other than the Crow Art Partnership

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    13th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,238

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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