Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Sense of History: The Lansdowne Portrait

Our kind friend, Mr. Carroll, has come to hasten my departure, and is in a very bad humor with me because I insist on waiting until the large picture of Gen. Washington is secured, and it requires to be unscrewed from the wall. This process was found too tedious for these perilous moments; I have ordered the frame to be broken, and the canvass taken out it is done, and the precious portrait placed in the hands of two gentlemen of New York, for safe keeping. And now, dear sister, I must leave this house, or the retreating army will make me a prisoner in it, by filling up the road I am directed to take. When I shall again write you, or where I shall be tomorrow, I cannot tell!!

Dolley Madison to her sister, August 23rd/24th, 1814

George Washington, by Gilbert Stuart 1796

More on the primary source document can be found here.

A detailed study of the portrait can be found here.

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