JARVIS, JOHN WESLEY (1780–1840), American artist, nephew of the great John Wesley, was born at South Shields, England, and was taken to the United States at the age of five. He was one of the earliest American painters to give serious attention to the study of anatomy. He lived at first in Philadelphia, afterwards establishing himself in New York, where he enjoyed great popularity, though his conviviality and eccentric mode of life affected his work. He visited Baltimore, Charleston and New Orleans, entertaining much and painting portraits of prominent people, particularly in New Orleans, where General Andrew Jackson was one of his sitters.
He had for assistants at different times both Sully and Inman. He affected singularity in dress and manners, and his mots were the talk of the day. But his work deteriorated, and he died in great poverty in New York City. Examples of his painting are in the collection of the New York Historical Society.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911