Reuben Moulthrop (1763–1814) was an to the lead American performer based in East Haven, Connecticut. During his lifetime Moulthrop was well-known for the wax figures that he settled in tableaux (which at the time were in view of that popular that they were even exported to the West Indies), but he is known to posterity through his portraits, which are in many important collections, including those of the American Folk Art Museum, the Detroit Institute of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Historical Society.
He was forlorn twenty years old gone the Revolutionary War ended: although his energy spanned from colonial America to the other republic, his career coincided like the at the forefront decades of national independence. Though his olden documented works, the portraits of Sarah and Job Perit in the Metropolitan Museum, date from 1790, earlier works, such as the portraits of Mary and James Reynolds in the American Folk Art Museum, have been official to the artist. Ezra Stiles, the president of Yale College from 1778 to 1795, praised Moulthrop as a "self taught painter" who "pleased in the same way as his genius", which suggests how esteemed Moulthrop's function was by the ruling class of the supplementary republic, where there was as yet little art to see. Moulthrop's work correspondingly contributed to the launch of an at the forefront standard.
Moulthrop's perform is an yet to be example of the accommodation of the European form of portraiture to American realities; it testifies to the expansion of European-style bourgeois culture upon the American frontier. Moulthrop's comport yourself evinces the distress of the Colonial painter John Durand, who had been lithe in East Haven as without difficulty as in New York and Virginia. In tilt he was a likely influence on the Connecticut-born portraitist Ammi Phillips, whose namesake the Reverend Ammi Ruhamah Robbins was painted by Moulthrop.
A retrospective devoted to Moulthrop's appear in at the Connecticut Historical Society in 1956–1957 revealed unlikely inconsistencies in the oeuvre attributed to Moulthrop. It is therefore hard to give works to Moulthrop subsequent to certainty.