Allston, Washington

Allston, Washington, an eminent painter, was born of honored parentage at Georgetown, S. C., Nov. 5, 1779, and was a graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1800. He developed early in life his enthusiastic love for the fine arts. Such was his desire to perfect himself in what he meant to make his profession that, having disposed of his patrimonial estate, he embarked in 1801 for the Old World, and became a pupil in the Royal Academy in London, of which Benjamin West was the president. Subsequently he spent several years in Paris and in Italy. During the eight years he was abroad, he made the acquaintance and secured the friendship of some of the most eminent painters and poets in Europe. Returning to America in 1809, he passed- two years in this country, and then crossed the ocean. again, and remained seven years (1811-18). Domestic afflictions were greatly blessed to him in leading his thoughts to more serious subjects, and he came back to his native land an altered man. Having built a studio in Cambridge, Mass., he devoted himself to religious art, producing some of the finest paintings in that department that have seen the light in modern times. The subjects of some of these were, The Dead Man Revived by the Bones of Elisha: — The Angel Liberating Peter from Prison: — Jacob's Dream: — Elijah in the Desert: — Saul and the Witch of Endor: and Belshazzar's Feast, his last work, which he left in an unfinished state. His other works were, Spalatro's Vision of the Bloody Hand: — Gabriel Setting the Guard of the Heavenly Host: — Anna Page: — Beatrice, etc. He died suddenly at Cambridge July 8, 1843. In a sermon preached after his decease by Rev. Dr. Albro, the religious character of Allston was portrayed in a most attractive light. See Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.; Spooner, Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, s.v. (J. C. S.)

 
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