Gilbert Stuart (American, 17551828)
Oil on canvas; 40 1/4 x 32 in. (102.2 x 81.3 cm)
Bequest of Seth Low, 1916 (29.89)
James Monroe (17581831) fought in the American Revolution, served in the Virginia legislature, and was elected to the Continental Congress. After acting as both secretary of state and secretary of war during the War of 1812, he became the fifth president of the United States in 1817 and served until 1825. His greatest accomplishments included the passage of the Missouri Compromise and the issuance of the Monroe Doctrine, which warned foreign powers against further colonial expansion in the western hemisphere. This portrait originally belonged to a set of half-length portraits of the first five U.S. presidents that was commissioned from Stuart by John Doggett, a Boston framemaker and art dealer.