Early in his life, Eliab Metcalf was disabled by a severe illness, and he spent his adulthood moving from place to place, trying to improve his health. Attracted by the climate, he lived on Guadeloupe, a French island in the Caribbean Sea, from 1807 to 1808, and then moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Five years later, he arrived in New York, where he began his professional career as an artist studying painting with Samuel Waldo and William Jewett. His health declined, and in 1819 he moved to New Orleans, then to several Caribbean islands before settling permanently in Cuba. He contracted cholera in the Havana epidemic of 1833, and died on his annual visit to New York City a year later.
Luce Artist Biography