1. Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828)
The foremost American portraitist of his day, Gilbert Stuart painted Presidents (John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison) and European Royalty (King George III of England, Louis XVI of France) alike, but he’s best known for his unfinished likeness of George Washington. Begun in 1796, the painting was meant as a half-figure rendering of the first President, but Stuart only got as far as completing Washington's head and face. Nonetheless, the image became so iconic that an engraving of it has graced the one-dollar bill for more than a century. Stuart lived and worked variously in London, Dublin, Philadelphia and New York, before ending his career in Boston, where he died in 1828.
Gilbert Stuart, Portrait of George Washington, 1796
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts Boston/National Portrait Gallery Washington D.C.