Painter David Gilmore Blythe, born #OnThisDay in 1815 in East Liverpool, Ohio, was a self-taught portraitist and published poet.
Although he worked as an apprentice woodcarver in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Blythe received no formal artistic training. After a stint in the U.S. Navy, he returned to Ohio and established himself as an itinerant portrait painter. Always restless, he traveled widely from Baltimore, Maryland to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
After a failed attempt at a panorama—an early precursor to motion pictures where a large canvas was mounted on rollers and each scene displayed to the audience with narration—Blythe returned to Pittsburgh, where he established a studio he called "the rat's nest" and concentrated on paintings of social and political issues.
Pictured: David Gilmore Blythe, "The Doctor’s Night Caller" (detail), about 1850. Oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches. Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Mr. Frank D. Stevens