"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, December 6, 2015

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

This 1966 painting of John Fitzgerald Kennedy by William Franklin Draper hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, America experienced an enduring sense of loss that it had not known since the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Unlike Lincoln, the loss was not that of an indispensable leader in a time of great crisis, but an expression of unfulfilled promise, of a young president cut down just as he seemed poised to become a mature statesman. Kennedy had charmed Americans with his grace and eloquence, inspired them with his 'New Frontier,' and challenged them to overcome all 'burdens' and 'hardships.' The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, an initial foreign policy fiasco, was later followed by success in forcing the Soviet
Union to remove its missiles from Cuba. For many Americans, the violent end to Kennedy's life not only terminated a promising presidency but fostered a crisis of confidence in the United States.

William Franklin Draper depicted Kennedy in his favorite rocking chair, which the president used because of his chronically bad back; ironically, the young and 'vigorous' president was beset by serious health problems." -- National Portrait Gallery

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