ALLSTON, WASHINGTON (1779-1843). A dis tinguished American painter and author. Ile was born at Waccamaw, S. C., on his father's planta tion, November 5, 1779, but passed his childhood and received his education and early instruction in art at Newport, Boston, and Cambridge. Mal bone, the miniature painter, was an early friend and adviser, and the portraits of Pine a val uable influence. After graduating from Har vard in BOO, Allston went to Charleston, S. C., where he began his art career. in ISOI he went with Malbone to London, and became a student of the Royal Academy. which was at that time under the presidency of his fellow countryman, Benjamin West. In 1804 he visited Paris in company with the afterward celebrated painter Vanderlyn. Here, before going to Italy, he studied in the Louvre the masterpieces of the various schools, and showed a decided preference for the rich, glowing color of the Venetians. This influence held more or less through life, and his natural affinity with those masters of color gave him later the sobriquet of "The American Titian." He passed four years in Rome, the companion of Tho•waldsen and Cole ridge, studying the great masters and acquiring their dignified and lofty style, for which be was peculiarly fitted by temperament. He returned to America in 1809, married a sister of Dr. Wil liam Ellery Charming, and went again to London, where he painted and exhibited with marked success for seven years. Failing in health, he came home in 1818, and settled first in Boston, afterward in Cambridge, where he passed the remainder of his life in comparative seclusion on account of enfeebled health. He attracted
to him always a refined and cultivated circle of friends and admirers; for Allston was a man of scholarly tastes, a rare talker, and a writer of much charm. His temperament was nervous and high-strung. His cast of mind was emi nently artistic, imaginative, and of a noble tenor. One of the earliest of his important canvases, "The Dead Man Revived," he painted and ex hibited in London about IS10. This obtained a prize of 200 guineas, and was soon after pur chased by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Then followed a number of historical and imaginative works: "St. Peter Liberated by the Angel," "Uriel in the Sun," for which the British Institution awarded him a gratuity of 150 guineas. In America, after his final return, he painted "The Prophet Jeremiah," now at Yale College, his large unfinished "Belshazzar's Feast," now in Boston, and several smaller works, including "Dante's Beatrice," and "Spalatro's Vision of the Bloody Hand," a powerfully dra matic work. His poem, The Sylphs of the Sea son, was delivered 'before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge. and subsequently pub lished in London (1813). He wrote also a novel, Mona!di (Boston, 1841). His Lectures on Art appeared after his death. lie died at Cambridge, July 9, 1543. and his burial took place by torch light. For his biography consult the volurne on him in Sweetser's "Artist Biographies" ( Bos ton, 1879 ) , a ml the Life and Letters published 1,y his relative, J. B. Flagg (New York, 1892).