Posts Tagged ‘George Washington’


What is tattoo Tuesday about?

December 3, 2013


Today is Gilbert Stuart’s birthday.  He was born in 1755 in Saunderstown, Rhode Island. In those years before paparzzi, he became one of America’s outstanding portraitists.  Stuart is probably best known for his unfinished portrait of George Washington (above) that has become iconic, appearing on the dollar bill and elsewhere.  It is probably the likeness most of us call to mind when thinking about Washington.  The portrait was never finished, but Stuart did make copies of the portrait, selling them for $100 each (no Kinko’s either). Ref – Wikipedia

Stuart became very successful, recording likenesses of the rich and famous of his day, which can now be found in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and other public and private collections.

I thought it was interesting that Stuart, “an artist accustomed to easily engaging and enlivening his clients with conversation and jokes, [he] was at a loss with Washington: ‘Anapathy seemed to seize him and a vacuity spread over his countenance, most appalling to paint.’ Yet, despite the struggle to capture the President’s elusive character, Stuart succeeded in executing the image that was then and is now considered to be a definitive and insightful likeness.”

ref: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

It being Tuesday, I have a tattoo to accompany this posting:

washington tattoo

Why do people do this?


What battle am I commemorating today?

September 8, 2012

The Battle of Lake George, September 8, 1755.  This battle was actually a collection of skirmishes fought on and around Lake George in northern New York, and was part of the effort to force the French from North America.  All of these conflicts are within the context of the French and Indian War (in North America) and the Seven Years War (in Europe).

It is interesting that, although called the French and Indian War, native soldiers were engaged in the fighting on both sides of the conflict in North America.  In addition to shaping the political interests in the early years of our nation (and Canada), the French and Indian War also brought leaders such as George Washington to the forefront, while foreshadowing the lessening of British dominance in the area.