Wednesday, August 31, 2005

George Washington - The Portrait

A little treasure I found at George Washington: A National Treasure

"George Washington stands before you in a full-length portrait by Gilbert Stuart. The painting, done in 1796, is known as the Lansdowne portrait because it was a gift to the Marquis of Lansdowne, an English supporter of American independence, from Senator and Mrs. William Bingham of Pennsylvania.

This interactive portait allows you to to explore the portrait in detail, from three very different vantage points: the symbolic, the biographic, and the artistic. Each filter highlights an element in the portrait and provides unique information and a distinct interpretation. What does an element symbolize? How does it relate to Washington? And, what techniques did the artist use to render it?"

George Washington(Lansdowne portrait)
by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian
Institution. Acquired as a gift to the
nation through the generosity of the
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

While I'm partial to art, I find this portrait appealing for many other reasons. One does not need to be a fan of art, in my opinion, to appreciate the interactive aspect that it offers. The symbolic, biographic, and artistic interpretations are not only very telling of George Washington "the man" and Gilbert Stuart "the artist", but the popular attitude of Americans of this time in general.

So, Launch the Interactive Portrait and learn something.


Or you'll be like her. :)

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