Born on a plantation on the Waccamaw River, near Georgetown, Washington Allston (1779-1843) attended a preparatory school in Newport, Rhode Island, where he first became interested in art. After graduation from Harvard in 1800, Allston went to study art at the Royal Academy in London. He remained in Europe, traveling to Paris and Rome, until his return to America in 1809. Allston returned to England in 1811 and remained there for seven years. During this time, he painted many of his best known paintings and published a volume of poetry, "The Sylphs of the Seasons," in 1813. Allston returned to American in 1818 and lived in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, until his death. Among his most noted paintings is his self-portrait, and "Belshazzar's Feast," which he left unfinished.
Courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library.