These late 18th-century paintings are something of a puzzle. Several things seem apparent. The artist does not seem to feel at ease portraying hands, but he has absolutely no problem with rather daring color schemes. I don't usually include portraits of men, but here is an exception; because Mr. Bush was reported to be a rather unusual character. He was known to cut quite a figure, and he had 3 wives.
The portraits of the Bushes are clearly signed with both the name MacKay and the name M'Kay, but the identity of the artist has remained elusive.
A John MacKay/M’Kay listed himself as a glazier and ornamental painter, an artist who could have painted portraits, in New York City directories in 1790, but there seem to be no ads in newspapers for his business.