Mather Brown (1761-1831)
Portrait, miniature and history painter Mather Brown was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and was descended from Cotton and Increase Mather, 17th and 18th century New England Puritan ministers. He studied with Gilbert Stuart in 1773. Brown painted many of the distinguished figures of the revolutionary War. Around 1780 he left for Europe, going first to Paris, then settling in London where he studied with Benjamin West, having been referred to his studio by Benjamin Franklin. He remained in England for the rest of his life, receiving many portrait commissions, including from prominent American visitors such as Thomas Jefferson and John and Abigail Adams, as well as members of the British Royal family. While he continued to concentrate mainly on portraits to earn his living, Brown also painted historical subjects and was, for a time, the official history painter to the Prince of Wales, later King George IV.