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Thomas Jefferson
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition
America's Presidents (Reinstallation September 2017)
On View
NPG, South Gallery 240
Date
1805/1821
Object number
NPG.82.97
Exhibition Label
Third president, 1801–1809
Thomas Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence, founded the University of Virginia, and wrote Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom. He was also a philosopher, inventor, gentleman farmer, and scientist. During his presidency, the nation bought a vast land holding west of the Mississippi River. Known as the Louisiana Purchase, this acquisition from France doubled the size of the United States and led to the remarkable findings of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806). Although Jefferson once called slavery “an abominable crime,” he consistently enslaved African Americans, including his late wife Martha’s half-sister, Sally Hemings, with whom he had several children.
Known as the “Edgehill Portrait,” this painting on mahogany, by artist Gilbert Stuart, was the result of two sittings. Jefferson’s brightly lit forehead stands out against the muted gray-green background, as if to emphasize his bold intellect.
3er presidente, 1801–1809
Thomas Jefferson fue el autor de la Declaración de Independencia, fundó la Universidad de Virginia y redactó el Estatuto de Libertad Religiosa de Virginia. También fue filósofo, inventor, hacendado y científico. Durante su mandato, Estados Unidos compró a Francia un vasto territorio al oeste del río Misisipi (transacción conocida como la Compra de Luisiana). Esto duplicó el territorio del país y propició las notables exploraciones de Lewis y Clark (1804–1806). Aunque calificó la esclavitud de “crimen abominable”, Jefferson siempre tuvo esclavos afroamericanos, incluida la media hermana de su difunta esposa Martha, llamada Sally Hemings, con quien engendró varios hijos. Gilbert Stuart realizó esta pintura, conocida como el “retrato de Edgehill”, a partir de dos sesiones con Jefferson. La luz destaca la frente del modelo contra un sobrio fondo gris-verde, como para enfatizar su intelecto.
Provenance
The sitter; his descendants at Edgehill; purchased 1902 Burton Harrison, Scotland, a collateral descendant; purchased 1927 through (Babcock Galleries) by John B. Winant; sold to Percy S. Straus; his son Donald B. Straus, New York; purchased jointly with Monticello in 1982
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; owned jointly with Monticello, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Incorporated, Charlottesville, Virginia; purchase funds provided by the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, the Trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Incorporated, and the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation
Website: www.monticello.org/
Artist
Gilbert Stuart, 3 Dec 1755 - 9 Jul 1828
Sitter
Thomas Jefferson, 13 Apr 1743 - 4 Jul 1826
Alternate Title
The Edgehill Portrait
Medium
Oil on mahogany panel
Dimensions
Accurate: 66.4 x 53.3cm (26 1/8 x 21")
Frame: 87 × 73.7 × 11.1cm (34 1/4 × 29 × 4 3/8")
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Type
Painting