Chester Harding, an American portrait painter, born in Conway, Mass., Sept. 1, 1792, died in Boston, April 1, 1866. His family, who were poor, removed to Caledonia, N. Y., when he was 14 years old, and be was early thrown upon his own resources for support. He became in turn hired boy, peddler, agent, and chairmaker, and eventually a house painter in Pittsburgh, Pa. He worked at this occupation a year, when acquaintance with a travelling portrait painter led him to attempt art. Having succeeded in producing a crude portrait of his wife, he devoted himself enthusiastically to the profession. He painted several other portraits at Pittsburgh, and then went to Paris, Ivy., where he finished 100 portraits in six months at $25 each. After receiving slight instruction in Philadelphia, he established himself prosperously in St. Louis. In August, 1823, he went to London, and spent three years in studying and painting. He resided next in Boston, where he became very popular. In 1843 he went to England again, and afterward resided in Springfield, Mass., spending his winters frequently in St. Louis or in some of the southern cities.

Among the distinguished persons who sat to him were Presidents Madison, Monroe, and J. Q. Adams, Chief Justice Marshall, Charles Carroll, William Wirt, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Washington Allston, the dukes of Norfolk, Hamilton, and Sussex, Samuel Rogers, Sir Archibald Alison, Lord Aberdeen, and David Ricardo. His last work was a portrait of Gen. Sherman. He wrote "My Egotistography," which has been printed, but not published.