Charles Loring Elliott “was as widely loved and admired for his geniality and kindness as he was respected for his artistic excellence. He also was well known for his fondness of drink.” In 1846, Elliott’s friend Henry Inman (1801-1846), New York City’s most popular portrait artist, predicted his successor would be Elliott. Elliott did indeed become the artistic capitol’s favorite portraitist. He preserved likenesses of the artistic, literary, and political giants of the time, including Mathew B. Brady, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and John C. Fremont.
The excellence of his technique shines through in his ability to paint a realistic hand or ear. His artistic ability bursts through in the faces of his best portraits. Elliott became a stereotype of temperamental artist in 1860 when he drunkenly stormed into an exhibition at the National Academy and tried to cut one of his paintings down from the wall. He disliked its position in the show.
For more biographical information:
 “Charles Loring Elliott (1812-1868),” Artists and Architects, National Academy Museum, http://www.nationalacademy.org/collections/artists/detail/291/#/grid/525
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