Matthew H. Jouett

Historical Marker #1888 in Fayette County recognizes the work of master portrait painter Matthew Harris Jouett, who was also a War of 1812 veteran.

Born in Mercer County in 1788, Jouett graduated from Transylvania University before studying law under a local judge. The War of 1812 interrupted Jouett's law practice, and he became a first lieutenant and paymaster of the 3rd Mounted Regiment, Kentucky Volunteers. When payment vouchers were lost during a campaign, Jouett was personally responsible and became riddled with debt. He resigned from the army in January 1815, at the rank of captain.

After the conflict, Jouett left his law practice and, the marker notes, "devoted himself to art." He studied under noted portrait artist Gilbert Stuart in Boston and then found success painting portraits in cities across the South. Some of his most famous subjects include General Lafayette, Henry Clay, George Rogers Clark, and Governor Isaac Shelby. Jouett, died at his home near Lexington in 1827. He now lies buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.