Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) was an American painter, soldier, scientist, and inventor best known for his portrait paintings of leading figures of the American Revolution. Born in Maryland, Peale displayed artistic aptitude from a young age and later studied painting in London under the tutelage of American artist Benjamin West. On his return to the United States, he established himself as a leading portraitist, capturing the likenesses of many iconic figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. Beyond his artistic endeavors, Peale founded one of the first major museums in the United States, the Peale Museum in Philadelphia, showcasing his natural history collections and aiming to educate the American public. A man of many talents, he also dabbled in dentistry, optometry, and even designed an early version of a polygraph.