Born 3 December 1755, North Kingstown Township, R.I. 1769, first art training with Cosmo Alexander, Newport, R.I.; accompanied him to South Carolina, 1770–71, and Edinburgh, Scotland, 1771. 1773, returned to Newport, began career as a portraitist. Late 1775, settled in London. 1777–82, studied with Benjamin West. Exhibited The Skater at the Royal Academy, 1782; established reputation. 1786, married Charlotte Coates. Late 1787, moved to Dublin, where he became a leading portraitist. 1793, returned to U.S., to New York and Philadelphia (1794), with intention of painting likeness of President Washington (and evading his Irish creditors). 1795–96, painted Washington and established the three "types:" "Vaughan";"Athenaeum"; and "Lansdowne." 1796, moved to Germantown, Pa.; 1803, to Washington, D.C.; 1805, to Boston. Died 9 July 1828, Boston.
William Kloss Treasures from the National Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C. and London: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985)